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With smartphone technology on the rise, optimizing your mobile platform becomes a top priority for companies of every shape and size, especially in the travel and hospitality industries.  WorldMate launched its first mobile app seven years before the first iPhone luach.

At that time, it was not called an app, but the Palm and BlackBerry creation served much of the same purpose as the more stylish iOS and Android versions today:  help consumers search and organize their travel.

Ian Berman, the Vice President of Business Development for WorldMate, dispelled four of the most misleading smartphone myths during the 7th annual Social Media & Mobile Strategies for Travel conference, hosted recently by EyeforTravel.

Myth 1:  Smartphones are last-minute devices
Although travelers having their smartphones attached to them 24/7 makes it easier to book travel at the last minute, these handheld devices are not relegated to only last-minute purchases.  Many travel companies fall into the trap of thinking mobile devices are not used throughout the entire travel research process.

“We think that’s wrong.  That’s 2010 thinking,” Berman said.

In October 2008, 55% of booking on WorldMate’s smartphone app were made 24 hours or less from the time of stay, and 14% were made more than a week in advance.

However, these numbers have changed drastically in the past six years.  By January 2014, those numbers had shifted:  35% were made within a 24-hour window, while 40% were made more than a week in advance.

Bermand explains that travelers are not only more confident making purchases on their mobile devices, but the experience on those devices has gotten more streamlined and intuitive, providing a better mobile marketplace for consumers.

Myth 2: PC is the first priority
At one time, hotel companies and distribution agencies were able to divert a majority of their resources to the PC platform because that was where a majority of their revenue was originating.  With new smartphone technology, that old model has become outdated according to Berman.

The number of PCs built and shipped annually has been on the decline for years.  Tablet and smartphone production, however, are skyrocketing and will soon surpass that of PCs, if it has not already.

To read about the final to smartphone design myths, click here.

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