Mobile Travel Apps Are Here to Stay

By: Codi Bott, Simpleview

It’s no secret that the events of the last few months have rocked our industry. From international travel bans to statewide shutdowns, it hasn’t been the easiest time to promote travel and tourism. But as states begin to lift restrictions and enter into phases of re-opening, it’s sparked a renewed hope for destination marketers everywhere. 

For the past fews months, technology has enabled us to use virtual tourism to escape from the monotony of quarantine, and allowed us to explore far away lands that we may never have seen otherwise. So what does this mean for the future of tourism in a post-pandemic world? 

Well, mobile travel apps were already rising in popularity pre-pandemic, and we’re guessing that trend will continue into a post-pandemic world. Apps have served as an effective communication tool for DMOs through these last few months, as destinations have utilized push notifications to push key announcements to their community, such as restrictions changes or event cancellations. And as travel begins to make a comeback later this year, destinations can use their apps to create curated visitor experiences. 

You may have already seen the now-famous Margarita Mile app, created by Visit Dallas, which gained so much popularity that it was covered by Buzzfeed last year. Several other destinations have since followed in Visit Dallas’ footsteps, such as Laurel Highlands Pour Tour, which features 31 wineries, breweries, distilleries, meaderies and cideries, and the recently launched Brew Barons Beer Trail, brought to you by the team at Visit Hershey & Harrisburg. 

But it’s not all beer tours and bar crawls! The team at Visit Dayton recently launched their new mobile app, which includes digital passports for not only the Dayton Ale Trail, but also the WilBEAR Wright Aviation Trail. Plus, the app features a detailed events calendar that’s filled with events like virtual concerts and social distancing friendly open-air markets (complete with safety guidelines!). 

Of course, there are plenty of people who are not yet ready to travel again, and understandably so. As a destination, you can also use your app to engage with your local community. Visit Pensacola recently launched a “shelfie” game, which rewards users for taking photos with particular items and landmarks, while Greater St. Cloud designed passports to entertain kids by challenging them to take photos of common household items. Photo passports and scavenger hunts are a great way to encourage social-distancing friendly activities! 

Meanwhile, the team at Shreveport Bossier Convention & Tourist Bureau was forced to quickly adapt when their restaurant week was postponed, and they instead used their app to collect donations for their local food bank.

If there’s anything that the last few months have shown us, it’s just how adaptable and creative the travel industry is. And while we’ve just started down the road to recovery, there’s no doubt that our industry will come out of this stronger than ever before.

About the Author

Codi Bott headshot
Codi Bott
Content Specialist
As Content Specialist for Simpleview, Codi works with an incredibly talented marketing team to create compelling digital and print content for Simpleview’s clients.