Expedia has purchased Orbitz for 1.4 billion euros. This movement, together with the operation to manage Travelocity, can be interpreted as the confirmation that the hour of truth has arrived regarding smartphone and tablet bookings, searches and experiences.
Mobile Commerce Daily defends this position and assures us we, the users, will be the main beneficiaries of this purchase, as it will increase the wide range of possibilities we find on the Internet when planning a journey. From a business viewpoint, on the other hand, it supposes an important challenge because of the extra competition it implies.
The publication considers that the operation will bestow Expedia more relevance over its main competitor, Priceline. It also predicts that the company, presided by Dara Khosrowshahi, will be able to retain the majority of Orbitz’s clients, even though it does not go into further detail because the OTA is yet to explain the route it plans to take after having purchased Orbitz and Travelocity.
What seems evident is that the use of smartphones and tablets is now a solid alternative during all phases when planning a trip. However, there is still a long way to go in terms of usability and purchase experience. This is a process that all companies in this sector aspire to complete in two or three steps. A lack of agility and dynamism is not negotiable.
On the other hand, a Priceline survey, confirms that the link between mobile devices and last minute bookings is not fortuitous, especially among the Millennial generation (youths between 18 and 35). According to the results, 73% of those surveyed that make part of this group decide to book their holidays at the last minute. Confirming their getaways with less than 48 hours notice.
This figure counteracts another one from the same study: 49% of Americans have refused to take some days off for a last minute break, and have regretted it. Faced with this situation, we understand that the Millennials, who are used to seizing the day and being more impulsive, are more in favour of this kind of trip.
There is some further interesting data:
– Holidays aren’t just for the summer. 40% of those who took part recognized that they prefer long weekends, bank holidays or special times like Easter to enjoy their holidays. Summer tends to by synonymous with holidays, but not always.
– Does everything go when getting time off? 69% of Millennials admit that they would have no problem lying to their boss to go on holiday. The list of excuses and lies is very varied: illness, family bereavement, transportation problems, etc. The percentages contrast with other lower figures: 45% of those who are not Millennials would also succumb to a white lie to get some days off work.
– Romantic getaways are the most popular. These are preferred by 55% of those surveyed, followed by surprise celebrations, such as birthdays (42%), weddings (19%) and sporting events (18%).
The OTA points out that mobile bookings play an important part in the tourist sector and that they will continue growing during this year. This increase will be directly proportional to the improved comfort for users making transactions using these devices.