The travel industry is traditionally one of the most profitable to build a business in. Before the global Covid-19 crisis, the travel industry had been growing above global GDP for 9 years straight.
While that came to a halt in 2020-2021, it's back. People are traveling again, exploring new places and enjoying the benefits travel offers to the mind, body and soul.
With the world back to normal, it's a great time to build tools, websites and startups that cater to travelers. This post will show you how. Read on to learn how to build a travel app, and earn your slice of the massive travel and tourism industry.
Countless digital tools exist to help people plan and take trips. Yet there's still room in the market for more.
If you're considering this as a business venture, you should be looking to build for mobile. Think about it - not many people take their laptops away on holiday with them – but they all take their smartphones.
People also spend most of their internet time through mobile, so that’s where they’ll be when they’re planning and researching their trip.
Source- Mobile Travel Trends
This is on top of trends that show more and more people using smartphones in general to go online. And 90% of our time spent online on our mobile devices is spent using apps.
The travel app market itself is massive - with top players making more than $1 billion in revenue each year. But don't worry about the prospect of trying to compete with heavyweights like Booking, Expedia and AirBnb. There are plenty of opportunities to niche down and find your lane in this huge market which, by definition, is a global market.
A simple travel guide app is a great way to enter a profitable niche, and a market that's not going to slow down any time soon.
If you want some inspiration on travel apps, here you go. These two examples show what's possible with a travel app, what kind of travel app features you may want to include in your app, and what it takes to launch a successful travel mobile app.
Based on a very popular travel guide site, the Tripwolf app gives users more than 600 travel guides in several languages, along with premium tips and photos from Fodor’s Travel and Marco Polo.
Trip wolf also has a lot of useful map integrations that help users with navigating on bike or foot, as well as the best local attractions and sightseeing spots.
The app has handy phrasebooks in 18 languages and lets users directly book flights, accommodation, and tours.
This travel app has certainly been a success, with more than 10 million downloads and generally positive reviews.
Culture Trip is an online travel app for “curious travelers”.
The site was started in 2011, then had a rapid period of growth – going from 132,641 monthly users in 2014 to 12.5 million in 2018.
It’s a really interesting publication that capitalized on several important societal changes and technological developments at just the right time to succeed wildly.
They also have great apps on iOS and Android.
The apps give recommendations and guides for every country in the world, show users attractions and restaurants nearby, and allow them to bookmark posts they want to return to.
They also feature unique perspectives curated and written by locals, and allow users to share stories on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
All in all, it’s a great app, and users think so too.
Ready to start, and launch your own travel app? There's no better time than right now. We'll help you out with some tips on building a user-friendly travel app, as well as showing you the most effective option for travel mobile app development - that doesn't require you to know anything at all about coding.
If you're going to launch a successful travel app, here are some things you'll want to have.
People love to see rich pictures and images when thinking about their travels. They want to really imagine themselves in various exciting destinations, so help them to do so. Make sure your travel app supports photo galleries and if possible, video content too.
Great Content Navigation
Travel guides have centered around written content for a long time. Make sure your app provides easy navigation through different topics and a convenient scroll through your articles and guides.
Unless your app is just about one neighborhood, users will be spread about in different places. So to give them the most relevant recommendations and content it’s helpful to know where they are. Make sure your app supports location services!
Most travelers love to share things they’ve done and places they’ve been with fellow travelers, friends, and family! Make this easy for them by integrating social sharing into your app.
Sometimes it’s tricky to get internet in a foreign country, not to mention on a plane or the underground. Make things easier for your travel app users by supporting offline viewing and allowing them to download their favorite content to their devices.
Building a mobile application is a huge project. It takes thousands of hours of labor, paying skilled developers high hourly rates the whole way.
In general, if you try to build a travel app from scratch, it's going to:
There’s an easier way to build travel mobile apps, though.
Build your travel app as a WordPress site then use MobiLoud to convert it into native apps for iOS and Android.
This option is easier, more affordable and more efficient than building mobile apps from scratch. In most cases, it's going to be the best option for developing a travel app, unless you have an extensive mobile development team in-house (and unless you're actually a travel app development company, you probably don't).
Let's look at why this is.
As mentioned in the previous passage, you're probably not running an app development company. If you were, you wouldn't be reading a guide on travel app development you found on the internet.
That means the biggest item of friction standing between your travel app ideas and reality is the ability to code an app.
WordPress is a great way to build a mobile-optimized website, without knowing anything about code. Anyone can use WordPress - and then it's even easier to use MobiLoud to convert your web app to a mobile app.
The MobiLoud team does all the heavy lifting. You don't need to do a thing.
People prefer to use apps, but having a website is still essential in order to meet your target audience wherever they are.
More people will discover you via the web, and some people still just prefer to use a website.
If you build your travel app on WordPress first, you're getting the best of both worlds - you maintain a web presence, and allow your users to choose where and how they want to access your content.
Building a custom mobile app is not just hard, maintaining and updating it is too. You need to retain developers on hand, and relay any instructions to them whenever you want to update your content or UI.
But building on WordPress and converting your travel apps to mobile make this easy. Simply publish and update content through WordPress, which anyone can do. The content will update on your travel apps on mobile at the same time.
When you use MobiLoud to do it, our team is always on hand to help with updates and maintenance. You'll save tens of thousands per year by not having to pay developers.
With a fully custom mobile app taking potentially as much as $150,000 to build. you'll need to be really sure you're on to a winning idea.
If not, you're out a huge amount of money for a useless app, or on the hook with a bunch of mad investors.
Our option is much less risk. Building for WordPress is cheap, and you can convert your site to travel apps for Android and iOS without sourcing huge amounts of capital.
This lets you go to market and test your idea without staking your future on it.
MobiLoud simply converts your existing website to mobile apps - but it also supports all the additional features that make mobile applications powerful.
Most importantly, you can send unlimited push notifications from your travel apps, and utilize OneSignal to target users at the right place and right time.
Here's how you can launch a mobile travel app, with a minimum of time, effort and investment.
Start off by creating everything in WordPress. Create your site, publish content, integrate visuals and other travel app features as we discussed earlier.
Specifically, focus on building a great mobile user experience through your website. This is essentially what people will get when they eventually use your app, so put the work in to make it great.
Start by signing up to MobiLoud. We don't require any long-term commitments, and offer a 60 day money back guarantee, if you find it doesn't work for you.
You can book a demo with one of our team to see how it's going to work first, or jump straight in, put in your website URL, and start configuring your app.
While the bulk of your app will look just like your mobile website, you'll configure a few small things about your mobile travel apps' UI. This includes your navigation, native tab menu, and mobile-specific features like spinners and splash screens.
Once you're done with this configuration, you pass it on to our team. We put your apps together for you - there's zero coding or development work necessary on your end.
We'll get back to you in a couple of weeks when your travel app is ready for testing. Try it out on your own devices, and let us know if you have any change requests, feedback or questions.
We'll make any more changes based on your feedback, and put together a final version for you to try.
Once you're happy, we'll handle the notoriously difficult process of submitting your apps to the Apple App Store and Google Play. Having done this thousands of times previously, we can guarantee approval for your apps.
That's it. All you need to focus on to launch your mobile travel app is the content. We take care of all the coding and technical work ourselves. It couldn't be easier.
Travel or tourism app development is easy with MobiLoud. As long as you can build it for the web, you can convert your travel apps to mobile, no matter the size of your business or your development expertise.
It's suitable for all kinds of business model. Whether you monetize by in-app advertising, booking hotels, providing travel services and trip planning, or anything else, this is a great way to get your travel business off the ground.
Get in touch with one of our app experts today and find out how we can help you create a travel app and get your app published in a couple of weeks.