Empowering travel players through mobile explored at AACO Forum

Maher Koubaa

Vice President, Head of Airline Group, Middle East and Africa, Amadeus IT Group

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The Arab Air Carriers’ Organization (AACO) hosted its latest business technology forum in Bahrain and the topic of the day was ‘Empowerment through Mobile Technology’. Amadeus was on hand to present how industry players can reach travellers through mobile advertising. Of particular interest for attendees, which included airlines, social media experts, and mobile technology providers, were the myths that seem to persevere in the mobile space today.


The first of these myths is the mobile revolution is coming, when in fact it’s already here. According Expedia, 94% of travellers carry at least one mobile device on their trip. Mobile is already revolutionising travel and the smartphone is the device of choice.

The second myth is mobile bookings are a small part of online sales for airlines. Nearly 17% of total online sales for airlines are via mobile devices. Some 26% of bookings are not even correctly measured by advertisers, because the final transaction occurs on a device other than mobile where the click was made, according to Criteo.

Finally, one of the most prevalent myths is mobile doesn’t convert. In fact, apps convert 1.2 times betterfor travel in the US. This proves that apps offer a better consumer experience than any other technology to accomplish the path to purchase.

All of these busted myths show that mobile advertising is a big opportunity for travel players. But of course there have been some barriers to uptake, including the lack of a prevalent mobile cookie, convoluted booking flows, and the lack of a standard for cross-channel performance tracking. We’re aware of these challenge and we are actively working on ways for airlines to adapt their marketing strategies to the new customer centric world.

One of our key initiatives in the mobile space is travel audience, a Demand Side Platform built specifically for the travel industry with access to millions of online travellers. Through travel audience we’re empowering travel companies to target online travellers through the power of programmatic advertising. Travel audience can help airlines maximize the download and adoption of apps to boost sales via their own mobile assets as well was reach travellers and propose services whenever they are on their mobile.

Were you at the AACO Forum? What was your take on it? Tweets us or let us know in the comments section below.


Middle East, Mobile, Events