We’re increasingly using our mobile phones to research and book travel, and in a recent survey 83% of leisure travelers admitted that they used their smartphones ‘all the time’ on vacation. Whether we’re finding our way around, looking for weather updates or discovering things to do on-the-go, our mobile devices are proving to be indispensable. The travel industry is adapting quickly to meet this consumer demand, and a number of standout mobile apps have emerged.
On a road trip and need a last-minute hotel reservation? HotelTonight helps you book a room, always with an array of options from Basic to Hip, so that you can select whatever accommodation suits you best. Need a ride? The Uber mobile app works with a host of drivers to provide access to taxi rides, a black car service, and even its rideshare UberX option, all easily accessible from your phone. Are you visiting a new place or looking for fun things to do in your hometown? Peek.com’s new Tours &Activities App helps travelers and locals to easily book great activities around them, from bungee jumping to wine tasting.
These services are available because each business has gained access to real-time availability for the inventory they surface, often building proprietary back-end systems that integrate directly into the supply side. HotelTonight has partnered with hotels to gain access to their unsold inventory to sell at discounted prices. Uber has provided an iPhone app to all of its drivers to give them the ability to run their business from their car. Peek has launched Peek Professional, offering activity providers the scheduling tools and online-booking capabilities to better run their businesses. Real-time availability is becoming an essential for mobile apps, making these markets much more efficient and providing for a better user experience for consumers. With this trend the future’s bright, and hopefully filled with a little more spontaneity.
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Ruzwana Bashir is the Creative Braintrust Tech Expert and Co-Founder & CEO of Peek.com