Friday, March 13, 2009

2009: The Year of Mobile Computing Platforms

The year 2009 is going to witness tremendous increase in mobile travel technologies. Look at the Marriott International, which launched a version of its Website that was built exclusively for smart phone mobiles. Marriott's site earned over $1.25 million in gross revenue within the first 100 days itself. The Kelsey Group conducted research which states that 19% percent of the population in the US use mobile computing devices.

Clearly, mobile computing platforms like the Blackberry Storm and the iPhone will trigger a boom in the use of applications that trigger mobile travel.

Top hotels like the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and Hilton Hotels Corp. are transforming their existing Web sites into mobile interfaces. This is a factor that simplify bookings.

In terms of mobile capabilities, Hilton generated over $420,000 in revenue in 2008 October. Hyatt Hotels and Resorts are also geared to launch mobile sites.

Currently, most hotel sites focus on pre-stay functionalities. This may involve simple tasks like paying online or booking a room but this is now broadening. The sites are extending their mobile capabilities to permit customer check ins and even booking restaurant reservations.

Laws relating to any dispute or bone of contention between a hotel and a consumer in the context of mobile computing discrepancies remain vague as of now. The future may spell another story.

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