Memorial Day weekend is just around the corner, and signifies the beginning of the 2012 summer travel season for many Americans. This year, many travelers are using their mobile phones to research, book, and review their summer vacations. Business owners in the hospitality industry can win big this travel season by using mobile marketing to offer special deals and reservation options.
Many big brands in travel have already adopted mobile marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy to reach travelers in new ways. Courtyard Hotels by Marriott have added QR codes to their lobbies that allow guests to scan a virtual concierge to find points of interest, restaurant reviews and reservations, and even weather and traffic information around the hotel location. This increases the level of interaction and convenience for many of Courtyard’s guests, adding to the overall guest experience.
Other travel and hospitality businesses can use mobile engagement to increase new visitors and visitor loyalty. Airlines such as American Airlines have embraced mobile to offer a new channel to their customers during the most competitive time of the year for new flight bookings. These airlines use SMS messaging to alert travelers of changes in flight times, available upgrades, or now boarding alerts. In addition, they can use SMS marketing, mobile websites, or mobile applications to offer exclusive pricing offers to its mobile user base. By doing this, they determine exact ROI through unique coupon codes through SMS messaging, number of redemptions on mobile websites and applications through advanced reporting technology.
Hotels can also benefit from mobile marketing by providing guests on-the-go booking options through mobile marketing. Travelocity recently reported that 60-70% of their mobile bookings are for same-day stays. This channel is a great way to increase hotels’ occupancy rates and deliver a convenient option for travelers. In addition, hotels can use SMS marketing, QR codes to unlock deals and area information, and mobile websites and applications for booking, reviews, and special offers.
The summer 2012 travel season is the busiest time of the year for most travel and hospitality businesses. Adding mobile marketing to an existing marketing strategy can add convenience for customers and higher bookings for businesses all-year round.