Quarter of travel firms are mobile-ready
11 November 2008: Research into the travel industry's use of mobile has found that 22% of suppliers already have a web site specifically designed for mobile internet.
EyeForTravel asked 800 travel suppliers – including OTAs, airlines and hotels - a range of questions in advance of its conference at WTM today (Tuesday).
The number of businesses with mobile-compatible web sites is set to increase from the 22% level, with 29.7% looking to invest in their mobile offering during 2009.
A further 14.6% expect to earmark funds for development during 2010.
Customer service had the highest viability, with mobile as a payment platform seen as the least viable. Customer acquisition was also seen as unrealistic aim for mobile devices.
Presenting the study, EyeForTravels´ head of research Amy Scarth suggested that the "evolution of mobile users will be comparable with PC users".
In response to a question from the floor about whether mobile phone owners would be put off by the complexity of their devices, Scarth said: "My gran is now using the internet to book tickets which she would never have done when she started going online. A similar thing will happen as consumers become more accustomed to having the internet on their mobile."
Overall, more than three-quarters felt that mobile will end up changing the way their business communicates with customers.