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Beyond booking: How next-gen travel apps do more than your desktop ever could

When it comes to travel planning, we are increasingly booking trips – whether it’s a flight, hotel, or car – on phones. Kayak CTO Giorgos Zacharia told Digital Trends that mobile devices are driving the company’s roadmap more than ever, and the stats back that up. According to analytics data from Adobe’s Digital Insights (ADI) team, mobile bookings continue to grow. In its research, ADI found that phones and tablets accounted for 21 percent of online bookings.

But travel apps have traditionally just duplicated the desktop experience. You search for a flight, book it, and that is the end of the story. Despite the growth in mobile, desktop bookings are still much higher than mobile, ADI said. Which is why Zacharia and others in the industry believe mobile apps must evolve into services that offer some sort of personalization – for before, during, and after a trip.

He may be right because the latest travel apps are doing just that. Leveraging real-time big data and monitoring how users behave, these apps can provide information and services that are unique to each user (or as close to it as possible). Many of these new app features are at their infancy, but they provide a look at how mobile travel apps are becoming more like virtual travel agents, rather that basic search tools.

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