If you feel like your destination could benefit from more visibility, more travellers or just improved connectivity with tourists, perhaps using the power of mobile apps is the way to go about it. Developing a tourism mobile app is just an early step in your journey to delivering customer satisfaction and gaining your customers’ loyalty.
With online traffic moving from desktops increasingly onto tablets and smartphones, it makes sense to complement your mobile optimised website with an app or a few. Many DMOs worry that the cost of developing an app is not justified, but it’s a fact that mobile apps are here to stay, thus making the development process a long-term investment worth assuming early on.
The app content
As we have previously stressed in our post on successful online destination marketing campaigns, creating an app that only reproduces your website content is a complete waste of resources. Mobile apps are all about relevance and context; their exclusive purpose is to enhance user experience in their brand interaction, in a given situation.
It all begins with identifying the purpose of your app: to provide general information about the destination or to guide its users to a more specific result.
You can choose to develop a general-purpose, master app that offers useful information and provides tips to your travellers, featuring some or all of the following:
- Destination guide
- Things to do
- Places to see
- Restaurants and accommodation tips
- Offline map
- Currency converter
- Weather information
- Transport information
- Wi-Fi hotspots map, etc.
Another option is to create tourism mobile apps with niche audiences and a more specific purpose, such as:
If you’d like to give your prospect the chance to discover your destination through beautiful images and compelling videos, magazine-style apps are the recommended option. They are vastly comprehensive tools which squeeze the content of country presentation magazines in your travellers’ pockets.
We like: Swiss Mag, the stunning iPad guide of Switzerland, featuring breath-taking images of the Swiss Alps and quaint cities. Very useful app to use prior or upon arrival.
Research has shown that travellers book their trips at shorter notice and arrive less prepared at their destinations. This is where planning apps come to the rescue and can significantly improve their experience upon arrival.
We like: Visit Bristol Official Guide, a great app for the underprepared travellers, all results are shown on the map, user-friendly filters and the possibility to mark places as favourite. Useful feature for quick searches.
We also like: London Official City Guide which gives tourists the option to use the app while offline. It incorporates an easy to use map and top tips for those who didn’t manage to do their research before landing.
These apps are designed as a source of inspiration for your customers, and acts as a discovery tool for the lesser travelled routes.
We like: There’s nothing like Australia. A beautifully designed app with interactive images and videos, fully incorporated narration and integrated brand storytelling.
Tourism mobile app advertising
Building an app is of little use if your travellers cannot find it. The possibilities are so vast that this topic deserves a post on its own, but we’ll just mention a few anyway:
- Social media: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram are the obvious choices for creating buzz and reaching your highly targeted travel audience
- Display advertising is great for raising awareness about your app and increasing its popularity. Make sure to carefully select the placements for high relevancy.
- Online PR is a great option – find the best influencers who can promote the app for you to their followers.
- Email marketing is a great way to prompt your fans to download the app and use it on the go.
If you don’t know where to start building your mobile app for a destination brand or how to advertise it, don’t be coy. Get in touch to find out how we can help.
Digital Dialog specialise in creating successful online destination marketing campaigns.
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