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Travel technology becoming big business

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Travel technology becoming big business

If you've ever panicked after leaving the house without your smartphone, the thought of heading out on vacation without your trusty mobile device is probably enough to keep you awake at night. Smartphones have transformed virtually every aspect of modern life, but few sectors have been revolutionized to the extent that travel has. Whereas once people had to rely on word of mouth, or worse, the recommendation of a travel agent when choosing their next vacation destination, today the Internet is everyone's best friend when it comes to research. According to Business Insider, the market for travel apps has exploded in recent years and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.

Take the world with you
The news source reports that smartphone travel apps have become some of the most widely used and popular software programs for users of mobile devices. In fact, in the U.S. alone, the mobile travel market could exceed a value of $8 billion this year, so if you've ever used your smartphone to check out an online review or book your accommodations, you're far from the only one.

Online bookings made via mobile devices are also going through the roof. Many major travel companies have reported strong interest in mobile booking platforms, and while this is convenient to users and profitable for service providers in the hospitality industry, another group has its eye on this market - advertisers. GPS-based geolocation and other highly specific information necessary for mobile bookings are of great value to advertisers, who can use that data to target consumers with increasingly personalized advertisements.

Digital assistance
Of course, the monetary value of smartphone technology in the travel sector is just one aspect of how mobile devices have made travel easier and more profitable. In many cases, smartphones provide users with invaluable guidance when traveling to foreign countries, and according to China Daily, many tourists are using their gadgets as virtual guides.

Across Asia, self-guided travel is becoming increasingly popular. Many tourists are turning their back on the traditional guided tour in the hopes of experiencing a new destination in a more genuine and authentic way, with smartphones and travel apps making this easier than ever before. In Beijing alone, more than 300,000 visitors have made use of new mobile terminals at major ports, downloading audio tours and interactive guidebooks to the area's attractions.

Whether you're venturing to the other side of the world or taking a short break in your home state, technology and travel go together like hot dogs and mustard. Next time you're looking for a place to stay, why not consider alternatives to often-costly chain hotels like serviced apartments or short term rental units?