Mobile wave prompts online shift
Traveltek has warned that travel agencies who fail to equip their websites with mobile capability will lose out to their competitors as consumer habits change and search engine rankings favour mobile friendly websites. As consumers increasingly connect with handheld devices, Google has turned its focus to mobile capabilities, indicating back in February that it would start ranking mobilefriendly websites higher within mobile search results from as early as this month. With many travel agencies currently operating websites tailored to desktop users, Traveltek Asia Pacific regional manager Paul Millan said pressure was mounting for agencies to update their websites. “Google’s change just reflects the way people are using the web,” he said. “Users are increasingly turning away from sites that don’t work well on their mobile device and returning to search results to find a competitor who does.” Millan made a special mention of cruise bookings, with potential cruise customers increasingly browsing itineraries on phones as opposed to desktop monitors. “More visitors than ever before are visiting travel websites from something other than a desktop PC [and] designing your website from any perspective other than mobile first is likely to leave your visitor disappointed and looking elsewhere.” Millan added that Traveltek was “ready” for Google’s algorithm changes and urged cruise retailers to follow suit.