Travel industry is no exception to digital revolution. The concept of travel agency app development has gained traction after studying about changed preferences and behavioural pattern of travellers. Travel app development is one-stop solution for agencies that allows prospective travellers to plan several activities through pocket sized device.
Desirable Features of Custom Mobile App Development for Travel Portal
Now that travel agencies are investing money on travel app development, it’s important to know what features should be included in it for deriving maximum returns. Following is the list of features that mobile app for travel agency should ideally possess:
- Automatic Travel Itinerary Generator
As per the recent report from leading travel companies across the world, it is observed that people prefer to plan their trips independently over readymade itineraries offered by travel agencies.
“60% of leisure and 41% of business travellers use the Internet to make their own travel arrangement.”
— Data Source: Amadeus
Observing this trend, travel agencies are now coming up specific requirement of offering users with an ‘automatic itinerary generator’ as a feature of travel mobile app. Based on the detail of ‘location’ entered by the user, itinerary generator prepares travel plan for desired number of days including details of sightseeing places to visit and activities to be done.
2. Weather Forecast, Offline Site Map and Navigation
For travellers, knowing about climatic conditions at the destination is of prime importance. Mobile app for travel agency should give enough information to users on day and night temperature of a particular place. Travel app that allows to enter customized dates for getting weather information are preferred by users as it allows them to plan future trips.
Maps and navigation are travellers’ best friends as it allows them to explore the place to the fullest. If your travel mobile app development strategy includes functionality of offline maps and navigation, travellers need not download and use third party apps for the same.
Just enter the place you wish to go in the ‘map’ and use navigation to reach the destination in shortest possible time. Offline map and navigation functionality has significance, especially in travel mobile apps, considering weak cellular networks and internet connection in remote locations.
3. Travel Booking App Development
Online booking is the need of the hour. If mobile app for travel agency doesn’t allow for flight and hotel booking online, it fails to serve the purpose of users. Let’s take a look at following statistics to know about online booking trend and inclination of users to it:
“Almost 40% of all travel bookings are made online.”
— Data Source: Rezdy
The aim of travel agency behind developing a mobile app is to provide ‘A to Z’ details to travellers and facilitate them with all options related to trip plans. When your app has in-built functionality that enables users to make reservations for hotel accommodation and flight ticket booking, they would not get redirected to other online booking apps.
“Tour and travel agency tend to get 30 to 40% more bookings after implementing an online booking system.”
— Data Source: TrekkSoft, 2016
4. In-Built Currency Convertor and Translator
Travel app development plan should include features of ‘currency convertor’ and ‘language translator’. These features are important from user’s point of view when they are going for international trips. For example, when the traveller is out for shopping, he can instantly use currency convertor to know the accurate cost of item and make decision of whether to make the purchase.
Similarly, language translator is of great significance in international trips to understand the language of local people and interact with them. When travel agencies incorporate such user-oriented features in app, the usability of travel mobile app drastically improves.
5. Reviews, Recommendations and Feedback
“93% of global travellers are of the view that their booking decisions are strongly impacted by online reviews.”
— Data Source: Trip Barometer
In case of travel industry, review of past travellers matter a lot. It is quite possible that user is planning to visit a place that he/she has never explored before. As a result, users usually prefer to read reviews of the place and nearby hotels to base their decision.
Mobile app for travel agency should showcase good number of neutral reviews for user’s reference. Travel app development should be such that it allows users to post a review and share experience to make the app more trustworthy.
“Leisure travellers read an average of 6 to 7 reviews before making travel bookings while business travellers read an average of 5 reviews.”
–Data Source: Tnooz
6. Integration of Payment Gateway in Travel App Development
Mobile app for travel agency should integrate a secured payment gateway to make it easy for travellers to make payments for flight booking or hotel accommodation. When such features are incorporated in travel mobile app, it becomes extremely convenient for a user to search for tickets or hotel rooms, find the best deal and make the reservations.
7. Customer Service through Mobile App
Mobile app for travel agency can include an option to chat with agents. For agencies that do not have enough members in support staff can implement AI powered chatbots that offer 24/7 assistance to app users. When users have an option to discuss their query with travel agency anytime and anywhere, they feel connected to the brand and this increases their chances of using it again for making reservations.
8. Support for Social Media Sharing
“It is estimated that there will be around 2.77 billion social media users around the globe till 2019, up from 2.46 billion in 2017.”
–Data Source: Statista
The power of social media is not unknown to anyone. People of digital age are more inclined towards sharing their travel experiences with social circle. This becomes more meaningful when mobile app for travel agency offers integration with user’s social media accounts. Users of apps themselves become brand ambassador of your travel agency, what can be better than that?
“70% of social media users update status/share photos while on holiday.”
–Data Source: Eye for Travel
Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Travel and Tourism Industry
Travel and tourism have been deeply impacted by COVID-19 pandemic. Several countries will react and respond to pandemic in a different manner. However, one thing is certain that using technology solutions to ensure public safety during travel will help the travel and hospitality industry survive during tough times.
Here are a few Travel and Tourism industry trends that will grow in future due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Rise of Touchless travel
COVID-19 has brought the travel industry to a standstill. Right from the airport to check in, one of the most evident changes will be a shift to touchless travel. Considering the risks involved during traveling check-in, security, and boarding there is significant risk for travellers and employees of travel/airline companies.
Rise in automation across the entire sector will become the new reality as biometrics such as fingerprint or hand scanner will be phased out. Moreover, technology for touchless data-entry such as IoT based mobile applications, and voice commands will be implemented to eliminate potential risks. Automation across the entire sector will become the new norm.
Digital Identity Wallets
In the scenario of COVID-19 pandemic, using digital identity wallets a traveller would be able to access, obtain and store confidential health credentials such as health status in digital identity wallets. This information can be combined with trusted identity data from public or private entities.
Rise of Digitalisation
Many organisations are implementing technology solutions for frictionless experience. These steps will help businesses to meet the changed consumer behaviour and regain trust. They also allow organizations to seamlessly connect several data points to assess risk profile, allowing to effectively manage risks in real time. Integrated digital identity solutions are key to realising touchless travel.
Travellers can manage their own profile, collect digital ‘verification’ of data collected and decide which information to share.
Extensive Use of Analytics for Real-time Information
Analytics can help travel companies to gain actionable insights regarding bookings & cancellations in real time based on geography. This data will act as a goldmine of information in combination with airline’s experience and data analytics for geo-specific solutions as well as forecasting demand for different categories such as business, leisure, family.
How Much Does it Cost to Develop Travel Booking App?
Travel website app development services cost completely depends on complexity, number of features, functionalities, technology and platform. It is not possible to provide a rough estimate without knowing about functionalities, platforms to be targeted and use of emerging technologies. As a matter of fact, building mobile apps for travel agencies requires substantial investment; however positive outcomes of this investment make app development a reasonable choice.