Technologies and globalization have made traveling affordable and accessible to many people. Moreover, the tourism market continues to be a very promising area with a large and solvent audience.
For companies operating in this industry, developing a travel app can become an efficient way to increase the number of their potential customers, help strengthen market positions, and promote overall development.
Below in this article, we will talk about this type of app in more detail and share useful tips, which will allow you to know how to make a successful travel app.
Why Travel Mobile App Development Is a Big Business Opportunity
Travelers actively use hotel booking, air tickets booking, apartment renting, and general trip planning apps. They get important notifications sent directly to their mobile devices, store loyalty program cards in dedicated apps, track routes using appropriate software, and do many other things.
Here are some statistics confirming that travel app development is an excellent investment niche:
- 70% of spontaneous bookings and trips are made using smartphones;
- 64% of respondents would be happy to make a virtual tour of their future accommodation facility before booking it;
- digital sales of tourism-related services increased by 10% in 2018 and reached $694 billion (eMarketer);
- travel apps are constantly among top 10 popular categories on the App Store.
As you can see, this industry offers sufficient demand and development prospects, and that makes it a promising investment area.
How to Build a Travel App: 10 Must-Have Features
A travel application can offer many features. Moreover, this list will differ depending on the product type. However, we can highlight several of the most important ones to pay attention to in the first place.
1. User personal area
A travel app is a tool for personal use. Therefore, it is necessary to implement a personal user account in it. Users can store their personal data in it to speed up processes like rebooking or payment transfers and to view the booking/travel history.
2. Third-party data aggregation
If you need to show data, provided by third-party services, to your users, you will need to implement a number of integrations using the API. You can enable sections featuring car renting data, access to the flight schedule and airfares, and other similar data.
3. Search function and filters
If your app contains a large amount of content, you will have to implement a built-in search function. Moreover, the possibility to set up various filters for better-customized results will prevent users from getting lost in an ocean of data and allow them to quickly find what they need.
4. Navigation and geolocation
Navigation and maps are very important features if you want to develop a travel app. This feature is implemented using geolocation technology. Users can take advantage of a convenient navigation system while hiking or for other purposes. For example, the map can display attraction sites nearby the user or hotels in the city.
5. Booking function
Users should be able to book a preferable hotel, air tickets, or a car directly through the application and at any convenient time. User personal data, respectively, can be automatically pulled up right from the user profile.
If you set up a partnership with some service providers, you can offer users an exclusive loyalty program, encouraging them to resort to your product services.
6. Itinerary planner
Provide your users with the possibility to view the entire trip itinerary from start to finish in one place. Since it eliminates the need to use several different apps, this function is convenient to use and encourages the potential audience to use a single product.
7. Notifications on important events
Based on the planned trip itinerary, your app can notify users about important events. For example, it can remind them of a future plane departure, hotel checkout, facility work schedule, and other similar things.
8. User feedback
People want to not only view interesting sites but also to share their visiting impressions with others, as well as to learn other people’s opinions. This feature will clearly affect the app conversion and encourage users to resort to your app more often since they no longer have to open various tourist websites.
In many respects, the world-famous Yelp and TripAdvisor owe their popularity to honest feedback and ratings from other people.
9. Weather forecast
Weather forecasting is another potentially interesting feature to add to your app. For example, weather conditions are very important when users plan to go hiking. You can implement this feature using many APIs available: Forecast.io, AccuWeather, OpenWeatherMap, and YahooWeather.
10. Personalized recommendations
Based on the users’ activities, trips or web views, your app can automatically generate personal recommendations for them. By doing so, you will increase customer retention rates and loyalty. This is especially true if such offers are both interesting and profitable.
Depending on the product purpose, the customer’s financial possibilities, and the development strategy, you can implement all of these functions or start with MVP, expanding its capabilities in the process.
How to Monetize a Travel App
There are many ways to monetize travel apps and make a lot of profit. We can name several of the most important ones. They are used by the largest companies in the market, depending on their business model peculiarities.
- Advertising model. This is a common option among content-type apps which are a kind of database, like city guides or catalogs featuring interesting sites, facilities, etc.
- Paid download. Users pay an amount of money once when downloading an app from Google Play or App Store.
- Premium features. The app itself can be free, and users are charged to access additional features or premium content.
- Subscription. In this case, the commission fee is charged from users or counterparties for a specific period (from 1 month to 1 year).
- Agency commission. This is another widespread monetization model in the tourism business. You can get affiliate commissions for each booking or purchase made through your application (hotel booking, air tickets booking, car rental, etc.).
- Direct sales. Companies which own hotels, apartment chains, or travel agencies can expand their audience by selling their products and services directly through their own application.
For companies in the tourism industry, launching their own travel app may become a good way to expand customer base, increase existing customers’ loyalty, and stand out from competitors. It can also be a standalone solutions developed for a large and solvent audience being the main condition for successful startups.
In this article, we have already listed the most popular functions which should be implemented in this type of app. You can always start with MVP and gradually expand its capabilities, taking feedback from real users into account. There are many methods to monetize travel apps, so your investment will return with no problems.
In case you have decided to build your own travel app and are looking for a reliable technology partner to implement the idea, please write to us, and our specialists will provide you with expert advice.
At Lvivity, we provide efficient solutions for customers from all over the world and help them create a successful product from scratch!