Technology May 17, 2019 Last updated May 16th, 2019 2,149 Reads share

Building a Marketplace for Local Travel Experiences: Business Model and Feature Set

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A few years ago, arranging a family trip used to be a real buzz kill and was a task left only to the truly brave. Many opted to use the services provided by travel agencies which would handle all the logistics associated with the trip.
However, with the escalation of technology, the world continues to become smaller and more accessible. This is coupled with the fact that the travel process is no longer viewed as such a big deal. Today, one can visit any place they want, stay at any hotel they fancy, and sample any cuisine they have always admired all by making a few taps on their smartphones.
Today, you will find that there is a travel booking app being developed each day with the aim of meeting the travel needs of tourists visiting different parts of the world. Before looking at how to create an online travel platform, let’s look at current industry statistics from Nielsen on how travelers use these smartphones:

  • 85% of all leisure travelers will use their smartphone at some point while on vacation
  • 72% use smartphones to post vacation pictures on their social networking accounts
  • 70% use the devices to update their social networking status
  • 46% will check in to a particular location while they are on holiday
  • 30% will use mobile applications to find the best hotel deals
  • 15% will ensure that they download mobile applications that are closely related to their upcoming vacations

The statistics from Nielsen indicate that there is an ever growing audience for travel-related applications which continues to rise with each passing year. This means that there is an enhanced need for business owners, startups, and developers to consider specializing in travel aggregator development.

What differentiates a good travel application from a mediocre one?

A travel application can sweeten the holiday experience by making it easier to find suitable locations as well as getting access to better deals than one would normally get when using travel agencies. The mobile travel platform development can assist in broadening the horizons of an existing business as well as in assisting it to tap into entirely new prospects.
When you are looking to develop a travel application, you need to consider the following tips as they can help you come up with an attractive and modern travel application that will with time actually help you make money:

  1. Always start by identifying your target audience. You will need to come up with a good image of the person to use the application. From here, focus on making the application better for them. For instance, if your company mainly deals with executives and entrepreneurs, then it will make more sense for you to launch an application aimed at simplifying business trips through faster airport check-ins and hotel bookings.
  2. Ensure that your app is user-friendly. For example, if the app’s main feature is to assist users to locate the best hotel offers, try to simplify the registration process. This should be completed with a few clicks.
  3. Stay in touch with users. Inform them of the special offers, best deals, and so on. This is when notifications will come in handy.
  4. Make sure that you integrate all the popular social networks, e.g., Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook on your application.
  5. Make it possible for users to send you their feedback. You can embed a button in the application that will help them leave their comments, as well as discuss with other users on what features they consider to be good or bad. This is the best way for you to learn about your audience and what it expects from you.

The popularity associated with travel applications is currently very high and continues to increase each day. That’s why your primary goal should be to come up with an application that can bring in a good audience that can also be monetized. You will need to utilize your business acumen from the very first stage of development.

Naming and positioning are also very essential, these are some of the factors that are likely to garner attention for your application. From here, the next step will be to focus on the design and development phases. The very last stage deals with testing. It will be important to use diverse smartphone models to ensure that you get rid of as many bugs as possible.

Factors to consider when developing a travel application

When looking into how to develop a successful travel app, there are a few factors that you will have to consider. They include:

  • Users and their travel needs

As much as you have a passion for developing the best application in the tourism industry, you will need to begin by considering the needs of the people who will be using the application. Who are they? How much do they make in a year? Do they prefer to explore unknown regions or are they into the traditional tourist spots?
This is where you make a decision on how your ideas will interact with your clientele. The more you know about them, the easier it becomes for you to come up with a product specifically tailored to their travel needs.

  •  Competitor research

From the statistics mentioned earlier, you can easily note that the travel industry has become very busy. The good news for you, however, lies in the fact that key industry leaders and players often tend to provide their databases and resources, thereby reducing the amount of work that you have to do.
For instance, the Trip Advisor API is known to provide businesses and developers with full access to their massive database that is entirely made up of user-generated content, e.g., reviews and photos.

  •  Select a good development team

Choosing the best trip application developers to work with is a very important stage in the development process. You need to choose a team that is not only professional but also one that shares in your passions and beliefs.
This is a team that will help you to come up with a good concept for the application. The concept will in many cases be based on the prevailing market trends. It is the reason why you need to be extra vigilant during selection to guarantee that you will end up with a team that can provide valuable contributions and helps you meet the established project milestones within a good timeframe.


Monetizing your travel application

The general rule in this industry is that the applications earn revenue through the numerous services that they offer, e.g., tour fees, accommodation, and transport. Additional options include:

  • Subscriptions
  • Advertising
  • In-built purchases
  • Commissions for all direct traffic

The GDS (Global Distribution Network) is often used to provide transactions between all the parties and players involved.

Regardless of what your interest in developing a travel mobile application lies in, the fact that you are a mediator between customers and service providers, or are involved in the industry as a supplier, there are numerous benefits to be derived from incorporating a travel application into your business.


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Irina Sidorenko

Irina Sidorenko

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