Viator expands its mobile service in German

Finally there is a mobile solution for Viator`s service in German. The tour and activity provider recently launched its mobile website in three European languages: German (de.m.viator.com), Spanish (es.m.viator.com) and French (fr.m.viator.com). The mobile website, which is fully optimized for all smartphone devices, offers its users:

•    Research of Viator’s 9,000 activities in more than 150 countries
•    Access to more than 330,000 traveler reviews and photos
•    Latest availability and pricing, even at the last minute
•    Click to Book with confirmation and voucher delivery via email
•    Call to Book with a Viator agent with flexible email or fax confirmation and voucher delivery, ideal for in-destination bookings
•    Check-in for activities with paperless e-vouchers

Whether before a trip or last minute with location based search, users of the mobile website easily find and book an activity from Viator`s portfolio within a few clicks.
Nevertheless, the mobile website exemplifies that transferring a service from one language into another is not as trivial as it may seem. Thus, reading the reviews at de.m.viator.com the user has to struggle with machine-translated texts. Conversely, some of the activity descriptions are only available in English.

Viator`s newly launched mobile website for German users complements its web presence. Additionally, the Australian provider offers mobile solutions for iPhone and iPod touch as well as for iPad users. Those apps are only available in English. Read more about the functions of the “Viator Tours & Activities”app in the Mobile Travel App Guide Edition 2012 powered by ITB.

Introducing the Mobile Travel App Catalog ITB Berlin 2011 Edition

Pick up your personal edition of the brand new Mobile Travel App Catalog by mvolution at
ITB Berlin 2011 hall 7.1c booth 107.

The Mobile Opportunity

Since the arrival of the Smartphone (not only iPhone but also Android, BlackBerry and newer Nokia devices) and the increasing public awareness thereof, end users (including travellers) have been quick to embrace mobile applications (apps). In the last 12 months there has been an explosion of companies leveraging apps to capture the benefits of mobile technology. According to BITKOM about 900 million apps have been downloaded in Germany in 2010 generating an annual growth of 112% and revenues of 357 million Euro. Over 25% of the German population own and more interestingly use their Smartphone to access the mobile internet: this has become a mass market.

By today the German Apple App Store accounts for about 300.000 apps including 18.324 travel apps (category travel). This is rank no. 7 just after category Utilities with 19.020 apps. Interestingly paid apps account for 72% and only 28% are free travel apps. In terms of downloads the most popular free travel app (in Germany DB Navigator) will reach over 2 million in 2011 and Kayak already has more than 5 million downloads in the US.

Within the App Store category Travel we had a close look at different apps. We analysed the most interesting ones and created 16 categories relating to the travel industry. For each category we took (if available) five travel apps and tried to extract their differences in terms of functionality, ranking and App Store user reviews. We discovered very interesting features and multiple approaches to creating and marketing apps.

The Search function for example, is important for finding places, hotels, train or rental car stations, connections or directions. The analysis showed that there are 10 different ways search (from Augmented Reality to Voice) is used by the app providers. Or Social Media features can range from pure Facebook or Twitter links to integrated sharing functionalities with other Social Media apps. It is also notable that for travel companies booking and reservation via mobile becomes a real positive return on investment business case.

Some players believe that mobile commerce will be arround 20% of their revenue share within the next few years. We think too, that this can be true, because Smartphone apps can create a user experience that is superior to using the corresponding website with the desktop device, and at the same time add specific value to certain travel related use cases. However we also discovered that only a fraction of travel companies do a good job with their mobile strategy which is not understandable considering the importance of the mobile channel.

So we are excited about the future developments in this segment and hope to bring you with this first edition of the Mobile Travel App Catalog, interesting insights into the market. We are also looking forward to getting feedback from you on your mobile experience.

The Mobile Opportunity

mvolution shows Mobile Travel Apps at ITB Berlin

At this year’s ITB Berlin exhibition we will present 3 hot mobile travel topics making the Travel Industry even more valuable. Contact us (mvolution) under:

+49 3641 573 3399 or solutions@mvolution.de for a person to person meeting at Hall 7.1c booth 107.

First is: From Web to App for iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, Nokia …

As one of the most experienced App Developers (already 6 years) we will show how to develop a Mobile strategy and value added Apps with a Cross-Mobile-Platform approach. We offer full services: From consulting (finding the right mobile strategy for your business), concept building (designing screens, storyboard and architecture) and implementation (developing frontend, backend and interface) to quality management (testing, debugging and updating). Additionally, we provide hosting, support and app-store management.

Second: Itinerary Management

Aimed at the business traveller, travelload solves a problem by providing a single itinerary consolidation travel manager as a tool keeping the travelload subscriber informed, alerted and organized about flight information, trains, hotels, rental cars, weather, timetables, alerts, delays, traffic, change of gates, on fly reservations, booking, navigation, maps and expense reports which are all delivered through intuitive well designed mobile applications, tablet applications, web browsers and social networking integration.

Third: Real Time Traveller Tracking

Travel security is a big issue these days. Whether the outbreak of a volcano, weather chaos or political conflicts: There are thousands of scenarios to think of. In order to make the world of travel a bit safer, we developed a crisis management and real time traveller tracking tool. The instrument is integrated into our meta mobility platform travelload. Intelligent filter mechanisms enable target-orientated distribution of information, since travel managers can see who is in the concerned region. In case of emergency a SMS via message centre is sent to all affected persons. The persons can send back their real location information through SMS. Travel Managers see the real time traveller position immediately.

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