Attendees at this month’s Buy Tourism Online (BTO) event were left in little doubt as to the importance of mobile bookings in the Italian online travel market.
NB This is a viewpoint by Giancarlo Carniani, founder of Buy Tourism Online.
Phocuswright presented some findings from their Italy report at the event, predicting that mobile travel bookings from Italy this year will be €835 million and account for 10% of all online travel sales.
In 2014 mobile bookings from Italy amounted to €372 million – so they have more than doubled in two years.
But looking into the future, the audience was told that “direct messaging is the new frontier”. With one billion people already using WhatsApp every month and 900 million on Facebook Messenger, messaging is now mainstream and the full impact on travel is still to come.
More mobile metrics were revealed at the event. Criteo presented its latest Travel Flash Report, sharing that global bookings through smartphones are up by 33% in the second quarter of this year compared with 2015.
And of note to an audience of hoteliers, more than half of hotel bookings which take place within 24 hours of arrival are made via smartphones.
Also new this year was a series of sessions under the BTO for Corporate banner, attended by travel managers from large Italian businesses as well as travel management companies and technology providers.
Overall, the ninth edition of BTO outperformed all previous events. Key highlights include:
- more than 10,000 attendees in two days with ticket sales up by 10% and 20% more exhibitors and sponsors
- 198 speakers
- 400 accredited journalists and bloggers
- 6,000 single users watched the event’s livestream at www.intoscana.it.
Next year’s event, the 10th anniversary, will take place on November 29-30, 2017, in Florence, Italy.
NB2: Image by Mr Alliance/BigStock.com