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Earlier this summer we launched our new report The Rise of the Silent Traveler focused on the reaching the mobile-first travel consumer.
Below is an extract. Get the full report here to get ahead of this trend.
For brands, giving the self-reliant customer something they want is deeply tied to the notion of accelerating and empowering the choices they make. Finding a way into that decision-making process is key to capturing the consumer’s business.
If there’s an illustrative space where mobile can further expand the silent traveler’s experience, it might well be the realm of discovery-oriented resources. The number of consumers who’ve turned to their devices to locate in-destination options has nearly doubled in recent years.
Among the value propositions that stand to place local discovery at the head of the pack for mobile-first consumers, curation is certainly part of the equation.
Players entering that arena, seeking to direct users to attractions and ideas within a destination, include The Leisure Pass Group. Linking their attractions-access passcards to city-specific curated mobile apps, when it comes to self-reliance, the company has recently moved into the area of providing self-reliant travelers with the means of getting around as well. In 2013, its card-and-app services grew to include a staff-free swipe-and-go system for 60-minute bike rentals.
Then, there is Findery, which, after two years of beta testing, allows digitally inclined travelers to place in-app notes and photos of interest within maps of destinations. The idea is that Findery’s user base will have an ever-growing local’s-eye-view of where they’re at — a crowd-sourced concierge in the palm of their hand.
Google Field Trip provides similar community-created content — also potentially attractive to the silent traveler. And it, too, is seeking to overcome early-stage challenges of plowing a wide spectrum of information into its interface while avoiding an information glut. There’s also the potential problem of inaccurate user-generated notes. Field Trip allows travelers to flag these. Self-reliance, in these cases, comes with some responsibility.
Short-notice is another value proposition that counts, in-destination.
For the self-reliant traveler, HotelTonight promises an on-the-go experience. One can reach for a new reservation, day-of, and the app also allows users to view a seven-day window of room-rate estimates and availability.
Like HotelTonight does in the hospitality space, restaurant-reservation apps may also have a play to make for the silent traveler’s attention.
Apps such as Shout suggest a self-reliant problem-solving mechanism that can fit the bill for an in-the-moment experience. In a peer-to-peer system, Shout users find diners who already have a hard-to-get reservation, but who are willing to sell it for, say, $35–$70. The buyer pays the seller, in-app, and the transfer of the table is handled by Shout.
For the silent traveler, the need for the well-connected concierge — or even the notion of negotiating with the maître d’— is replaced by a guaranteed transaction via their smartphone’s screen.