In January of last year, Nielson found that smartphone penetration had reached 80% by users ages 18-34, and the lowest penetration was still nearly half (47%) for the over 65 crowd. Comscore data reveals similar numbers for the UK, with over 51% share of mobile users across all markets.
And it’s only growing. Gartner estimates that 1.1 billion smartphones will ship worldwide in 2015. The percentage of smartphones for newly acquired devices has gone from 20% in 2009 to 60% in 2011.
So what do all of these numbers mean for hotels?
The call to “go mobile” has been heard loud and clear. Hotel websites are being optimized, mobile booking engines are rolling out, and guest usage is growing by the second.
Comscore released a report on the 18th showing that 51% of the smartphone audience has used smartphones to view travel information. Of those, 23% looked up attractions near their hotel, and 22% researched restaurants.
Pairing this data with personalized search technology, hotel operators are pushing to keep the pace with the expectations of today’s travelers. How can hotels answer these needs while still keeping up with face-to-face service demands?
Our own research has shown us that 73% of hotel guests want local recommendations. Does a personalized guest experience fit into this equation? And how does it all come together to increase RevPAR, yet preserve the elegant connection between hotel and guest?
How smartphone savvy is your hotel?
What is your mobile strategy?