The Rise of the Tourism App

Ahhh…. the Tourism App

There was a time in the not too distant past, when people sat at a desk on their desktop computer.

Many desks even had a space built into them for the CPU! We have come a long way from those days as over 50% of our digital time (online) is spent on mobile devices.

With the rise of mobile devices has come the rise of tourism apps, and with millions of apps out there it can be tough to mark a dent in that market. However, if you are in the tourism business, it is necessary to have a strategy that takes into account a tourism app.

After all, people who travel in this day and age are using one app or another and probably multiple ones whenever they hit a new city or destination.

For our purposes here, we will focus on 5 different areas of the tourism marketplace to find out how making an app would increase business.

Travel agencies

tourism app
tourism app

Travel agencies are a segment of the tourism industry that have changed the most.

You still see store-fronts for travel agencies occasionally, but they have evolved beyond that big time. It used to be that customers would walk into a travel agency to find a good vacation deal, but now the travel agency has to go to the customer instead. To achieve this, a presence on a mobile platform is a necessity.

The purpose of a travel agency app is to keep in contact with a potential customer to share vacation deals, popular trends, and to deliver special offers and provide services. With the addition of push notifications, it is not even necessary for the customer to check their email; they are notified of a new deal or offer, directly on their phone so that they have to actually see it rather than having it possibly be deleted in an email. Another great way for travel agents to stay in touch with clients is to offer guides for a certain city or region so that the client turns on the app more often.

The transportation industry

The transportation industry is another industry that benefits greatly by offering an app. It is almost a necessity for a business offering transportation services to have an app that potential customers can utilize the minute they step off an airplane in a new city. Other than of course a company offering taxi services, railway companies can really improve users experience by using push notifications for things like delays, traffic incidents, etc.

A cruise company can use their app to notify passengers of special events, restaurant menus and specials, or even to book an appointment in a spa or salon. Another popular function is for customers to use the app to share their experience while on a cruise or at a specific destination.

Customers will also use an app for things like taxi and limo services and to rent a car, which can really speed up the process and allow customs to avoid standing in lines at the airport, etc.

Destination apps

interactive travel guide

Destination apps are another extremely popular app, as they can be used to showcase a city or destination in many ways. The key to a destination app lies in multi-functionality. The app should offer not only tips and visitor information, but also points of interest such as museums or art galleries and many times, offering a reduced rate for points of interest is an included function of the app.

A good destination app builds a sense of community for the city that allows a visitor to feel like they are part of the culture rather than an outsider. A calendar section that lists events and activities is also a popular function.

An app for local activities always comes in handy for the user and will usually feature hotels, restaurants, pubs and bars and entertainment. Highlighting various night-life activities is important in apps like this, as many people want to get out and experience something out of the norm when they are on vacation. It is pretty easy to monetize this type of app, as business will purchase advertising to be a part of it.

Bars and restaurants in particular are always interested in being featured in apps that will increase their visibility and they will offer coupons and specials that are available only through the app.  An app built with Interactive Travel Guides offers very good flexibility and with two Add-ons, a user can connect to external ad networks.

Events in a tourism app can also be built around temporary functions such as a concert or festival. You don’t see very many people going to a concert without their smart-phone so this app is a great way to reach people.

It may seem like an event app has a rather short ‘shelf-life’ if you will, because once the event is over, the app is dead. However, if you consider giving the app an added dimension such as a documented guide or history of the event location, you will greatly increase not only the life of the app, but the value of the app as well.

An event app can also access social pages for the event or location or both, and users can submit pictures and content talking about their experience at the event. This is a great way to build up excitement for annual events as well because people can see what took place the previous year at the same event. Traffic increases each year for the event because of this.

There are many ways that you can enhance your customer’s experience with a tourism app and these are just a few suggestions that you can use as a starting point for your own app.

There are many more creative concepts that you can use and you shouldn’t be afraid to be creative and try something different. In the crowded world of apps, it is the ones that offer something unique that truly resonate with customers and keeps yours at the top of their phone. They will come back over and over for a beautiful, functional app.

It’s more than a destination. It’s an experience. Inspire visitors to come and explore your destination with an affordable interactive tourism app by Touch Point Designs, LLC.

Find out if we have available courses in tourism app development by contacting our admissions dept.