iPhones have revolutionized mobile web surfing and continue to drive more consumers to use mobile devices for browsing the Internet. With the launch of Google’s Nexus One, and several Android-based phones such as Droid from Motorola, mobile browsing is on track to become a significant new opportunity for advertisers and businesses. Mobile search and display revenue is projected to increase from $160 million in 2008 to $3.1 billion by 2013 (source: The Kelsey Group’s Annual Forecast: Mobile Local Media, Feb. 2009). Since most mobile web searches are local in nature, mobile technology will have a significant impact on the travel industry. Mobile websites, mobile applications (apps), short message service (SMS), mobile ads, and mobile coupons are very effective ways to reach consumers using mobile web.
According to a study by Neilson, mobile Internet usage is growing 30 percent every year. By 2013, it is expected that there will be 134 million mobile web users in the United States alone, up from 73.7 million mobile web users in 2009. Figure 1 shows growth of mobile and Internet users.
In terms of browsing platforms, the Apple iPhone continues to dominate the web surfing realm with almost 65 percent market share. Android seems positioned as the upcoming platform for web surfing. Figure 2 shows mobile web browsing usage stats.
These trends and predictions identify the next big wave of opportunity for hotels to target consumers. To capitalize on this opportunity, it is important to develop a quick-to-download, mobile-friendly website that gives consumers the information they seek with just one or two clicks on their mobile phone browsers.