Like it or not, the digital revolution is changing the way holidays are being planned, air flights purchased and hotel rooms found and booked. And at the centre of this sea-change are smartphone apps and the demographic that uses them most, the so-called Millennials.
According to a 2013 study conducted by online global travel site Expedia, as much as 49% of Millennials plan and book their trips on their handheld devices (and you can safely bet that percentage has only gone up since). This is proving an influence on the travel industry the like of which it’s never before experienced. It means that, whether we like it or not, Millennial-driven travel apps are here to stay – and the good news is they’re driving up choice and quality of service for all travellers, whatever their age and wherever they come from or are travelling to.
Gone are the days when customers actually had to call hotels to book rooms. An ever increasing number of quality hoteliers, like London’s Montcalm luxury hotels group, are launching and ever updating apps, packing them with descriptions and images of rooms and amenities, special promotions and customer reviews. The Montcalm’s own luxury hotels app is a leader of the pack, in that not only does it do all that, it also enables you to make, view, edit and even cancel a room reservation. Moreover, it seems every day new start-ups are popping up with marvellously useful, efficient and easy-to-use apps to aid travellers, such as Hotel Tonight (for bookings), City Maps 2Go Offline Maps (to find your way around locations) and Wi-Fi Finder (whose purpose is self-explanatory).
But why are Millennials changing the rules when it comes to the travel industry? Basically, because they’re the generation that’s never (properly) experienced life without computers; they expect to be able to do pretty much almost anything digitally. This means both major brands and start-ups have taken notice throughout the industry and are adjusting accordingly – quickly this demographic is becoming the industry’s most influential customer.
Moreover, while the same study found that 40% of Millennials are likely to share their travel experiences on social media actually during their trip, more than a third of them (34%) will likely share their opinions on their trip in the same way once they get back. So there’s simply no way travel agencies, booking companies and hoteliers can ignore the power this demographic has carved out for itself.
The choice for all travellers is clear then; get on board the digital revolution and seek out and download the apps that will best benefit you when you’re looking to get away. The opportunities are as endless as the destinations you can reach and enjoy.