Despite the consensus that the mobile web would be the way forward, applications continue to hold their own, it seems.
Figures from App Annie reveal consumers spent 900 billion hours in apps in 2016 with the average user spending two hours per day using apps.
The company, which tracks app usage, also reveals that the amount of time spent in apps is increasing every year across every country.
Paul Barnes, northern Europe and Middle East director for App Annie, says that between 2014 and 2016 the majority of travel bookings made via mobile were via apps.
He was speaking at the EyeforTravel conference in London this week.
Barnes says the time spent in travel apps has also increased in the past two years, about 150% according to App Annie figures.
He adds that it is airlines that are leading the way in travel pointing to easyJet which says 20% of its bookings now come via the mobile app.
Barnes describes apps as the "ultimate travel tool."
He would say that, working for App Annie, but the figures also speak for themselves.
Barnes also has advice for travel companies using apps to engage with customers:
"It's really important to see this as a privilege in terms of having a presence on someone's smartphone. Don't do bad things such as send them too many messages. It's also an opportunity to strengthen the relationship because of your presence in their pocket."
Further tips include:
- There is a rising expectation from consumers that apps will streamline the travel experience.
- Apps create new opportunities to understand and reach customers.
- Travellers use social media before, during and after travel so companies need to think about their presence in those networks.
- There are some five million apps so the "build it and they will come" strategy won't work.
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