Believe it or not, there was a time when travel booking options mostly consisted of phoning an agent or tracking down a computer. With all of the mobile options available today, sometimes it’s tough to remember what it was like not to have access to travel booking via phones and other mobile devices, whether through online travel sites or expense management software. In fact, recent survey results show that travelers now prefer to use their mobile devices to book trips.
According to Expedia, 61 percent of respondents claimed to have booked travel through their mobile device over the last six months. Additionally, results showed that 60 percent of airline bookings and 56 percent of hotel bookings were made through mobile applications, which are becoming increasingly prevalent as more transactions are taken online.
In an effort to meet this growing need for the business world, endless options for travel and expense software have hit the market over the last several years. More companies are making the transition from spreadsheet-based expense management to SaaS or on-premise software deployments to mobile expense solutions that contain built-in travel booking options. Employees can now book their travel itineraries and attach the accompanying purchase information to their expense report while traveling to their next meeting. The increases in productivity and spend visibility alone have made combining mobile travel booking with expense management a convenience that few business travelers would be willing to give up.
While the mobile travel booking trend may not bode well for the beleaguered travel agents of the industry, most travelers seem to prefer the ability to (quite literally) take their travel itineraries into their own hands. “With the steady growth of mobile adoption and content consumption, we’ve seen an increase in on-the-go travel planning—more than one-third of mobile device owners, according to the study,” said Expedia’s Noah Tratt.
With that being the case, it’s assumed that the company will be doing more in the near future to support their customers’ interest in more online options and features.