Amadeus Column: Your best travel companion

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If you’re anything like me, you can’t imagine life without your smartphone. Imagine you’re driving to the office and you realise that you have forgotten your wallet at home, would you come back? Maybe not, but, what if you’ve forgotten your smartphone? Without any doubt I would turn back, wouldn’t you?

For most of us frequent business travellers, our phone dictates our agenda and helps us strike that work-life balance managing our professional and personal lives while we are away. We can check emails while waiting for a meeting and at the same time be connected to our friends and family and share experiences.

But what about booking travel on your mobile. Our overseas colleagues are relying on their smartphones to help them with all their travel needs throughout the travel journey, but here in Africa, although we have our mobile phones glued to our ears, we seem to have been a bit reluctant to follow suit. And apparently, this is largely due to security concerns around online payments.

That said, however, African travellers are now thinking mobile more than ever according to an independent research study commissioned by Amadeus to explore existing mobile usage behaviour within travel across the African continent. In this research, 55% of the travellers in Africa said that they share their trip details through their mobile phones and 45% made reviews when using them for travel. And as many as 37% said that they had in the past 12 months actually booked accommodation using their devices.

It seems like a bit of a no-brainer doesn’t it? Your meeting is running late and you want to change your reservation. Why would you take out your laptop and wait for it to boot up, when you could do everything directly from your phone?

We can expect a lot of innovation in years to come as you increasingly demand access to information through your chosen channel, on your chosen devise anywhere at any given time. And it is our desire to deliver not only that, but to shape the future of travel in the mobile arena.

Paul de Villiers

Amadeus Vice President, Africa