Travel Application Development

A Comprehensive Guide on Travel Application Development

Did you know!

  • 85% of respondents in a survey accepted using a mobile device for travel itineraries.
  • 60% confirmed using navigation apps.
  • 54% admitted using travel apps for finding good restaurants. 

The above stats are from a survey conducted by opera mediaworks with 1000 U.S smartphone users. Although executed with a smaller audience, the results clearly indicate mobile apps’ worth in the travel and tourism sector. As per app development stats, the global travel online market size is expected to cross $902.2 billion in 2023. 

The billion-dollar industry is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.8% from 2021 to 2023. To leverage this outstanding growth, multiple enterprises and entrepreneurs invest in travel application development. 

However, if you are planning to invest in travel apps, you must have clear answers to the following queries.

  • What monetizing strategies does the travel app follow?
  • Must-have features of a travel app.
  • The additional features to set your travel app apart from the rest.
  • How to develop your travel app?
  • Cost of development.

Read this blog to find answers to the above question. Let’s begin with the first query.

Famous Monetization Strategy of Travel Apps

There are multiple monetizing strategies that you can follow for your travel app. Deciding on the monetizing strategy will also help you realize the key features of the app. Listed below are the most popular ones:

  • Advertising Model: This model requires you to sell your app as an advertising space to hotels, tour agencies, travel agencies, etc. You can earn a fortune based on target conversions, per click, etc. The famous apps relying upon this model include TripAdvisor, Airbnb, etc.
  • Commission Model: Simple and small hotels, motel, hostel owners, etc., are open to making their digital presence felt over apps. However, they lack the budget to develop a personal app, and your travel app can offer a convenient option for them to showcase their digital presence. You can earn commission over each booking done via the app. Popular apps following this model include Booking.com, Kayaks, etc.
  • Merchant Model: Unlike the other two, the Merchant model requires significant and regular investment. You are supposed to buy hotel rooms (for night stays) in bulk and resell them to guests/tourists to create a win-win situation for both you and the guest. Buying in bulk allows you to gain rooms at a relatively lower cost, and you can sell the same at an attractive price to guests. Expedia group generated a sales revenue of $107.9 billion in 2019 as per Statista, and it heavily invests in this model.
  • Mix Model: The travel app can be developed as a mix of the first two or all the above three models to maximize the investment return.

That was about the standard strategies that you can follow for monetizing the travel app. Based on the app’s success, you can also opt for a paid app model, a paidmium model. Let us now focus on the critical features of a travel app.

Here’s the list of must-have features for your travel app

For Guests:

  • Quick Sign-up: Those browsing the app must have access to a simple sign-up via social media profiles, phone numbers, along with few questions, etc. The travel application must allow users to freely navigate until the user feels like using the app services for hotel bookings, travel itineraries, etc. 
  • Convenient Search option: The greater the filters, the convenient it gets for users to make bookings. Typical filters get based on location, budget, number of guests, basic and additional amenities, dates of stay, parking facilities, etc.
  • Easy booking/cancellation: Users must be able to book /cancel desired hotels, tickets, cabs for tourism, etc. The app must openly disclose the net charges, including payable taxes for any services, to help users choose the best option. Clear booking and cancellation policies play a pivotal role in building the trust of the users.
  • Giving Ratings & Reviews: Guests must be able to easily convey their thoughts about the warm stay at the hotel under the rating section. It also acts as a note of guidance for others.
  • Chat options: Guests tend to have queries that are not always available on the listing. Facilitating the chat option between the users and the hotel owners helps avoid any form of miscommunication.
  • Local transportation facilities: The app must offer up-to-date and live status of transportation facilities about the local areas. Travel APIs can be used to include such functionalities over the app.
  •  Map Integration & Navigation: Google Maps, TomTom, Mapbox, etc., are some of the reliable application program interfaces that get used to offering simple and intuitive navigation for the app users. 

For Hotel Owners/Admin:

  • Listing & updating hotels: The hotel owners must easily update the status of available rooms, amenities offered, net charges, multiple photographs, cancellation policies, etc. 
  • Dashboard: A simple dashboard where hotel owners can track bookings, calculate revenues, etc., enhances the UX of the app.

Additional features for the travel app 

  • Weather Forecasting: Having access to real-time travel weather forecasts allows the tourist to pack and plan accordingly. It will enable them to make last-minute changes to avoid hassle while touring around.
  • AR/VR: Investing in AR/VR over the app will allow the guest to have a more engaging view of the destination, lodgings, etc.
  • SOS button: Having an SOS button that alerts the local police station, user’s family members about his/her present location will ensure greater security for the solo travelers, female groups, etc.

You must have gained a clear idea of the primary & additional features for creating a travel app by now. 

Here are simple steps to creating a travel app

Step-1: Define the target audience of the app

Whether you aim for young travelers or a community of spendthrifts will decide the category of hotels you will opt for. Based on the target audience, the app must offer a compatible range of places for lodgings.

Step-2: Decide on the basic and additional features of the app

The greater the number of features you opt for, the more the cost will rise. As app complexity increases with the number of features, you can trim the additional features to minimize development costs.

Step-3: Connect with an experienced team of experts

Finding a reliable travel application development company requires dedicated research and analysis. When choosing a firm, always cross-check its rating over Clutch, GoodFirms, etc. They are independent rating agencies and offer genuine reviews about app development firms. Also, you can ask for individual CVs of each member of the app development team.

Step-4: Discuss the technology stack of the app

The technology stack is the mix of software, tools, etc., necessary for app development. Some of the popular technology stacks include MEAN, LAMP, MERN, RoR, Serverless stack, etc.

Cost of travel app development

The overall development cost of a travel app usually varies and depends upon the following factors:

Target Platform: Whether you want to develop the app for Android, iOS, or both, the platforms influence the app’s cost.

The app’s complexity: A travel app lies in mid-level complexity, and the exact level of complexity depends upon the additional features opted by you.

Total working hours: The total hours invested in app development are directly related to the cost.

Hourly charges: The hourly rate of the app development team.

Overall, creating a travel app may cost anywhere between $35,000 to $60,000 when you hire developer in India.

Over to You

That was all about the diverse aspects of creating a travel app. Outsourcing your project to an app development company in India helps you save costs. India being a developing nation, facilitates app development at a low price.

I hope the blog proves helpful to readers.

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