Mo­bile wave prompts online shift

Travel Bulletin - - TECHNOLOGY -

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.

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