From the first traveler, Ferdinand Magellan, mankind has always wanted to explore new places and experience a new culture, food, and way of living. While the early travelers did it with the help of a compass, maps, and Nauti meters, the world now travels with the aid of travel apps, which are convenient and hassle-free.
This blog will give you an overview of the facts and figures that need to be considered for developing a travel app in this hyper-competitive and rapidly changing technology-driven world.
- Mobile apps And Travel Industry:
- Travel App Development Ideas for Travel Industry
- 2) In-App Ideas for Travel Mobile Applications
- 3) Technology Trends For Travel Mobile Apps
- How Mobile Apps Are Revolutionizing Travel Industry:
- 5) WTTC Guidelines for Online Travel Apps and Web Portals:
- Before Making the Market Entry
- Frequently Asked Questions:
Mobile apps And Travel Industry:
Travel can be for business or leisure purposes, but all would love it hassle-free with fewer paper works and more integrity and sustainability. Last-minute ticket bookings and hotel reservations were always chaotic with the old brick-and-mortar system. This is where the travel apps found their scope and expanded. The entry of travel apps made worldwide travel and tourism easier and more convenient. Booking tickets, hotel reservations, and other correlated services have become easily available since the introduction of travel apps.
Highly interrelated with the tourism industry, the travel industry is a sector that has showcased exponential growth for the past few decades. The travel industry has a vast scope and encompasses a broad spectrum of sectors and companies like transportation, accommodation, food and beverage, entertainment, and other connected services like financial services, online tour guides, and educational services.
Why Invest in Travel Mobile App Ideas – Market Size & Stats
- The travel and tourism industry’s contribution to the global economy is approximately 6tr USD.
- The international movement of tourists in a year is about a 421million.
- Almost 2.37tr USD is the global leisure travel expenditure.
- As per the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) reports, the travel industry recorded a growth of 3.9% in the year 2021, above the global GDP growth of 3.2%.
- The industry contributed 8.8tr USD and offered almost 319 million job opportunities in 2021.
- The reports highlight that the travel industry generated almost 10.4% of the total global economic activity in 2021.
The Post-Pandemic Travel Industry:
The travel and tourism industry was largely affected by the global pandemic-COVID 19. The global travel index had a notable reduction during 2020-2021. The industry is picking pace and is getting back on its might. As per the WTTC’s annual research report 2021,
- After the loss of almost 4.9tr USD (-50.4% decline) in 2020, the travel and tourism industry’s contribution to global GDP increased by 1tr USD (+21.7% rise) in 2021.
- The travel sector’s contribution was 10.3% of the global GDP, which decreased to 5.3% in 2020 due to global travel restrictions. But 2021 saw an increase of 6.1%.
- The sector marked a 47.4% decrease in the domestic visitors spending index in 2020, which increased by 31.4% in 2021.
- The international visitor expenditure rose by 3.8% in 2021 as compared to a decline of 69.7% in 2020.
Leading Mobile Apps In Travel Industry
Travel apps have marked their presence in the industry since early 2000. The advancement of technology is at a place stated in murphy’s law. For every app launched, a competitor will arrive in the market offering advanced search and technical assistance. A few tumbles and fall, while some thrive against all the odds. Knowing your competitors, understanding their strategies, and then making a market entry would be the wisest decision.
The current leading players in the travel app industry are long-standing and sustaining. Airbnb, Booking Holding, TripAdvisor Inc, Skyscanner.com, Expedia, MakeMyTrip Limited, Trivago N.V, and Trip.com Group Ltd are a few key players in the online travel market.
Travel App Development Ideas for Travel Industry
Niche Experience Travel App ideas:
The travel industry is full of booking and similar solutions providing mobile apps. Still, a few popular and growing mobile apps offer Niche travel expiring, such as Camping, Adventures, Trekking, Hot Ballooning, River Rafting, Paragliding, FlyBoarding, Scuba Diving, and more.
Flight Booking App Development:
An app that exclusively offers flight booking from origin to destination would be an appreciable product. Partnering with leading air transport providers, both domestic and international, would be required. Working with different time zones, different nations, and their airline policies could create certain hiccups, which can be overcome with proficient and eminent planning and strategy.
Bus Ticket Booking App Development:
The majority of tourists prefer traveling by city buses as it helps them experience the culture and demography of the place they are. Bus travel is mostly preferred for short-distance travel and offers an opportunity for sightseeing. Such apps can be developed in cooperation with local administration or governing bodies.
Train Ticket Booking App Development:
Trains are the best choice for long-distance or in case of interstate travel at the destination. Most countries worldwide have massive and well-established train routes, and it is one of the most preferred means of transport by most people. Bullet trains, Metro stations, and underground train networks are all available around the globe. Since it is the most preferred form of transport, booking a ticket prior would always be a customer’s choice, and if you could develop an app that caters to this need, it would be a different experience for the customer. Partnering with the local train industry will enhance the customer travel experience.
Bike and Car Rental App Development: Travel App Ideas
Some travelers prefer exploring new places and cultures alone, an alternate travel experience. Such travelers prefer renting a car or bike and kickstarting their expedition. Many market players provide cars and bikes for rent adding an extra notch to this and delivering to the customers would always be a USP(unique selling point). Cab bookings also can be incorporated into this category for those who do not want to be in the hustle-bustle of the place they are in.
Cruise and Inland Boat Booking App Development: Travel App Idea
Most tourist destinations have amazing inland waterways, and they even offer cruise services. For customers who wish to enjoy the waterways and explore the sea, ocean, and other inland water services, this could be a better option.
Local Public Transportation Tracking App:
Local public transport is always an aid for the tourist. Developing an app that makes the public transport of each destination more accessible would be well appreciated by travelers.
Travel Accommodation App Development:
The next major contributor to the travel industry is the accommodation sector. With the advancement of technology, customer preferences have also changed; the sector is catering to different needs of the traveler or tourist depending, which include hotels and homestays all depending on the budget and other requirements of the tourist. Developing an app exclusively to offer accommodation would require a deep understanding of the industry and good B2B relations with the destinations’ hotels, cruises, homestays, and other adventure trip organizers. People tend to choose between extensive options of hotels(luxurious or moderate), shared accommodation, hostels, camping, bed and breakfast, timeshare accommodation, farmhouse accommodation, etc based on their budget, preferences, and personal interests.
Food and Beverages App development:
People travel to explore a place and its culture and enjoy its delicacy. Finding the best-rated and eminent eating joints in a foreign place would always be challenging. The food and beverages industry is the next major contributor to the travel industry. Hotels, food delivery apps, bars and cafes, nightclubs, and restaurants all fall under this umbrella.
Entertainment Services Mobile app
Be it a business or leisure trip, people always look for entertainment at their destination. Local theatres, art galleries, museums, and concerts portray the life and ethnicity of the place. Interrelated with the travel and tourism industry, the contribution of the entertainment sector to the travel industry is a notable share.
Audio Tour Mobile App:
This will reduce the need for a tourist guide at the destination. Exploring the place whilst knowing its art and history will be a distinctive experience. Local businesses offering authentic services could also be part of this.
All-in-one Travel Booking App:
A traveler’s requirements, like transportation, accommodation, food and beverages, entertainment, and other related services, can be provided in a single space. Depending on the time zone and geographic factors, offering customized services at the destination would be an added benefit.
Local Guide Finder Mobile App:
To delve into a splendid travel experience, one should always know more about the pace they are at and also understand the grounds of the existing tradition, culture, and practices in the region. The most resourceful would be the experienced and insightful local guides. Finding a certified and authentic local guide is always challenging in a foreign land with less knowledge of their language and traditions. Getting access to registered local guides will be bliss.
Kids-Friendly Place Finder App:
Traveling with kids is always an extra effort. Some destinations and local businesses may not entertain kids, it is, therefore, an advantage to know such places and plan the visits and tours accordingly. Places offering fun and entertainment to both the parents and kids are an immediate choice for the ones traveling with kids.
City Tour Guide Mobile App:
Solo travelers who love to expedite a place could find it difficult to traverse a bustling city. City tour guide apps are always handy in such situations. Exploring the city and its life at its own pace is more comforting and pleasurable.
Best Deal Finder App for Travellers:
To find the best deals at a place without much local knowledge is always challenging and exhausting. Comparing and choosing among the best offers and deals is always tiresome and time-consuming. An app that compares and dictates the best deals available at a place is always beneficial.
Gifts and Souvenirs Guide App:
Travelers always like to carry back home a piece of their experience. Souvenirs are the ideal way to collect memories of a place once visited. Finding authentic gifts and souvenir shops in a new place is equally challenging. Finding registered and authentic emporiums and gift shops will be difficult without proper guidance and reviews. Government emporiums and gift shops are always the most reliable sources for authentic artifacts and collectibles.
Washroom Finder Mobile App:
All cities and tourist destinations are facilitated with public washrooms and restrooms, but finding one is quite a task most of the time. Apps that give information on the nearest washrooms and restroom is always handy while touring a place or traveling. There can be certain hotels, restaurants, and even petrol pumps that offer washroom facilities, particularly for long-distance travelers.
Gas and Charging Station Finder App:
Finding a gas station or an electric charging point can be quite difficult without proper knowledge of the place. Solo travelers could always use an app that gives them a heads-up about the nearest gas or electric charging stations.
Also Read – Travel Planner Mobile App Development Guide
2) In-App Ideas for Travel Mobile Applications
Besides the superficial apps and services, travelers would also love to enjoy certain connected services like financial services, educational and informative services, language translators, travel insurance, etc. Catering to any need of the traveler in a single space is always an added advantage.
Currency Rate Converter:
Nations around the world have their monetary system and currencies. With the changing market conditions and global financial strategies, it will be difficult to keep one up to date on all this information. A currency converter comes in handy when you are new to a place and its systems.
Travel Itinerary App:
Planning the tour and travel is always time-consuming and extra effort. The reason why people choose travel agencies and apps is to get a pre-prepared tour chart and itinerary. This will help ease their travel and help them enjoy and explore the destination in a set amount of time. From ticket bookings to accommodation, food, local travel, and all other necessities, charted and prepared prior will ensure a hassle-free and smooth trip.
In-App Language Translator:
There are more than 7000 languages worldwide, all versatile and dynamic. Communicating in a foreign land with the least knowledge about their local language will always be difficult. These services could help travelers speak or type in words and get them translated into the local language.
World Clock Time Converter:
There are 24 time zones and 37 different local times in the world. Traveling and getting your time coordinates will be difficult without a proper time converter. From Kiribati to Howland Island (the last time zone on earth) day, date and time vary around the globe. Certain countries have multiple time zones in their different provinces and states. France is a country that has maximum time zones of 12.
In-App Travel Insurance Buying:
Most travel apps offer travel insurance to cover all unforeseen expenses and uncertainties. Travel insurance provides protection and a safe zone for traveler without making them feel financial pressure. Travel insurance covers almost all unfortunate and unexpected events and ensures one reaches back to their homeland without difficulties.
In-App Navigation and Map:
Navigating a place could be easier and more efficient with well-laid maps and travel routes. Local maps, city maps, and other navigation portals will help traverse the place conveniently. Local maps could be more informative about the local shops, restaurants, hotels, and other essential services and facilities.
3) Technology Trends For Travel Mobile Apps
Technology is an inevitable part of the travel and tourism industry. It helps in the smooth functioning and daily operation of the business. Travel technology covers a broad range of IT-enabled services and applications. The global pandemic COVID has initialized a huge technical paradigm. Information technology contributes to a massive revolution in the travel industry and augments businesses with customized and user-friendly services.
AI and Machine learning:
Integration of technology and travel is unavoidable in this tech-savvy world. AI assistants and chatbots have already marked their presence in the travel industry. Machine learning is a part of Artificial Intelligence that helps you understand how humans learn. This uses large data and generates algorithms to help improvise the AI technology services provided. The preferences and choices made online while browsing and buying items or services will be monitored to provide a customized experience to the user depending on their previous search history.
Voice Searches and Voice Control:
People use more voice searches and voice-controlled commands for operation and technological assistance. Booking tickets, searching for hotels, and information about the destination, like the weather, food habits, and current political and demographic situations, are all collected using voice search. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has made the online search easier and more user-friendly. Businesses are incorporating this technology to deliver better customer services and increase customer preference and loyalty.
Virtual Reality Application:
Technological advancement has set a new trend in virtual reality in the travel and tourism industry. People get to see distant places in the comfort of their homes. The apps and services that offer virtual reality increase the customer experience by visually representing the places they wish to visit or cultures they wish to experience. The pandemic has made the world a more convenient way to see the world. The satellites and improvised digital services offered by businesses are helping customers experience a new way of enjoying and seeing around the world.
Supported and steered by artificial intelligence, augmented reality is very similar to virtual reality. But the experience it offers is very different from virtual reality. The Augmented reality platform operates by augmenting the user’s surroundings and enhancing the product experience and satisfaction.
Another brilliant development in artificial intelligence, AI chatbots, provides a new and buoyant online experience. The AI chatbots refine your searches and provide information about the user’s questions. Available always with the support of internet connectivity and data links. This sure gives the users a varied and differential experience.
The pandemic has changed the way the world functions, and of which cash and money dealings are the ones that have undergone drastic changes. People prefer online/cashless transactions to liquid cash deals done earlier. UPI payments, debit/credit card payments, and online bank transactions are gaining popularity worldwide. Foreign exchange and international money transfer methods have also undergone notable changes recently. VISA direct, self-banks, and card payments are all gaining popularity because of their ease of performance and reliable user interfaces.
How Mobile Apps Are Revolutionizing Travel Industry:
The travel mobile apps help the user get the information and latest updates on their requirements faster than the brick-and-mortar system, which used to take days. Online apps allow users to see what they want and choose from a wide range of options available at reasonable rates. Online platforms have allowed customers to choose the product and service they want to experience from the bountiful options available.
Apps are Convenient and Portable:
Travel planning can be done anywhere at any time at your convenience with the help of travel apps. These online portals have made booking tickets (air, train, bus, etc) much easier and more convenient. Searching for accommodations and eating joints at the destination is no longer tiresome. The online platforms feed you with images and all relevant information about the end product or service you are searching for.
The online apps help users get customized services at the destinations they are and also control their travel worldwide in a jiffy. Booking cabs, local public transport, taxis, and hotels are no more a concern as the apps, alongside online services and products, could deliver a better customer experience.
Mobile App Increases Client Base and Customer Loyalty:
The paradigm shift to online booking and travel management has created and accumulated a huge customer database. These data can be used and extracted to provide a customized search experience to the customer. The introduction of cloud computing has had a great impact on online portals. The customer preferences and likes could be generated from the databases or servers and thereby used to provide a unique experience every time they use these portals. The user-friendly and customized search experience will make a desirable customer preference and loyalty.
Mobile Apps Provide 24/7 Access Around the Globe:
One advantage of being digital is accessibility. The user could access the online travel portals and platforms anywhere around the globe in any time zones. The same applies to the apps they could contact their users at any time and include suggestions and tools for an increased travel experience.
Streamlining Business and No Paper Work:
Online travel apps reduce the paperwork involved in your journey and streamline transactions. This also reduces the PR pros. The certificates and documents needed could be accessed online, ensuring tension-free travel for the user. The post-pandemic guidelines in most countries require a vaccination certificate that can be accessed online. This will help the nations and tour providers track the health records of the visitors.
Make Personalised Offers With Travel App:
With more access to technology and increased use of online platforms, service providers have a greater advantage of knowing customer preferences and interests. Online servers allow businesses to deliver exact and pleasing services to customers in an efficient way. Any user browsing an online travel app feels the app is providing the exact information and details they are looking for. The indulgence of artificial intelligence in the travel industry has made way for this remarkable experience and service.
5) WTTC Guidelines for Online Travel Apps and Web Portals:
The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has rolled out certain general requirements and principles for implementing a digital travel portal. The rules and protocols call for strict adherence to the post-pandemic travel guidelines.
- Design privacy.
- Compliance with data protection and privacy law of partner countries.
- Language capability.
- 24X7 communication and helpline portal for traveler queries.
- A reliable and active government and travel operator communication line.
- Processing and accepting certificates in different formats and types.
- IT intelligence and data handling capability.
- Option for multiple individuals to apply as a group.
- Availability of the portals 24X7.
- Proper legal layout in case of any disputes.
As per the WTTC guidelines:
- General travel and country entry/ exit information.
- Questionnaire for travelers.
- Completion of the entire process digitally.
- Traveler compliance.
- Government integration.
- The online portals’ ability to answer queries and provide services 24X7 without fail.
These are the five critical areas to consider while implementing a digital portal.
Before Making the Market Entry
A clear understanding of your target customer is required before entering the broad and competitive online travel market. Set up a proper marketing strategy and identify your niche. Identification of the 7 P’s of marketing is necessary and inevitable before the launch of the travel app.
The scope of the online travel market is vast, and your target customer must be classified and identified. The market can be classified by age, type, geographic region, preferred services, booking type, payment mode, gender, etc.
Turing your travel app ideas into reality should not be a quick decision. Before setting up the portal, one should consider all factors, including the post-COVID travel guidelines and rules. The above-mentioned points and ideas could be a baseline for the app’s development. Proper market research, identifying the target consumer, financial constraints, time constraints, legal aspects of the partner nations, and government services all play a key role in developing a travel digital portal. The right choices of technology, services, and niche will aid in developing a successful app.
Frequently Asked Questions:
To develop a travel app, you should do a good market analysis and define your constraints. Any renowned app-developing firm can be approached to develop the travel app as per your requirements.
Every nation has its own set of guidelines and rules post-pandemic. The WTTC has also rolled out certain guidelines that could be helpful at the time of the development of travel apps. The travel guidelines will be available on the official website of each country.
COVID has affected the travel industry adversely, but 2022 shows a gradual and steady rise in the travel and tourism sector. This implies that any app that offers unique and customer-friendly services will survive the intensively competitive market.
The cost is directly proportional to the services one intends to provide through the developed online portal.
To increase the reach of the travel app, intensive marketing techniques should be used. Social media platforms can play a massive role in this. Niche marketing is another way to gain your target.
Maintaining the customer database and incorporating technologies like AI, virtual reality, voice searches, robots, and AI chatbots can deliver a unique experience to the end user.