The first apps developed by attractions and tours specialist Viator have gone live in what the company is hailing as a first for the sector.
Two apps, one for the iPhone and one for the iPad, have gone public following approval from Apple.
Dan Hart, general manager Europe and Asia, said that while traditional channels still offer opportunity for growth, mobile is a key area for Viator.
Hart said: “By no means have we exhausted traditional routes to market using web applications but mobile is one of those difficult areas we are trying to crack by bringing in a customer interface which is easy and simple to use.”
The new apps allow users to book while during the planning phase of their trip or while in resort, using geo-location to identify nearby experiences. It also allows travellers to share their experiences with others.
Both look to capitalise on the native features of Apple’s touchscreen devices to inspire customers, as well as provide a functional booking tool.
Barrie Seidenberg, president and chief executive of Viator, said: “Today’s travellers are more self-directed and less reliant on concierges and out-of-date guidebooks than in the past.
“Our new iPhone app helps travellers easily find the best tours and activities nearby, and make last-minute bookings directly from the device they always have at hand.
“Similarly, our iPad app helps to inspire travel with ever-changing content about great local experiences that fit almost any budget and can be easily booked online.”
Among other features the iPhone app allows operators to load new deals in a What Can I Do Today? feature. It also offers reviews, photos, paperless e-vouchers and a ‘wish list’ function.
The Viator Ultimate Experience Guide for iPad places the focus more on inspiration, offering 3D global navigation to select and zoom in on the world’s top 100 cities.
It includes customised city guides and content written by experts. Users can check availability and book via their tablet device.
Hart added: “We are really happy with the apps. The user interface on them is fantastic.”
Initially the apps have been launched for English-speaking markets but Hart said making them multi-lingual is on the road map, as is developing apps for other mobile platforms.