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Expedia increases hotels bookings via iPad, Android tablet app

Expedia is beefing up its mobile strategy with an Android and iPad tablet application that lets users book hotels and manage their travel plans.

Expedia is rolling out the new app after seeing consumers make more transactions and bookings via mobile. The online travel booking Web site is launching the app for Apple’s iPad and Android tablets.

“Nothing is more intrinsically mobile than travel, so Expedia strives to offer a practical, simple and delightful experience on mobile phones and tablets,” said Jeremy Xavier, director of marketing for global products at Expedia, Bellevue, WA.

“We’re developing products to make sure people are able to book travel however, whenever and wherever they like and have the same great experience,” he said.

Tablet travels
The Expedia Hotels app, which was launched in October for smartphones, has been optimized for tablet users.

Using the app, consumers can browse 130,000 hotels to book rooms from. Expedia claims that almost half of the hotels can be booked for the same night’s stay.

Users can search by price, location or user review.

Once a hotel is selected, consumers can swipe through photo galleries of the location.

The tablet screen is split in half to show a user’s location and the hotel results.

The app uses GPS to find nearby accommodations for consumers.

Consumers can also choose from 16 languages on the app and includes recommendations for 20,000 cities.

Tablet users can view user recommendations and reviews for hotels.

To book a room, the app walks consumers through a four-step process that includes entering their information and selecting which days they want to book a hotel for.

Consumers can also save their information to book quicker in the future.

Last-minute booking
Expedia is primarily a Web-based company and destination but does a lot in mobile, too.

Expedia also rolled out an Android app and a mobile Web site earlier this year (see story).

Mobile hotel bookings are a huge trend and something that both hotels and travel booking companies are consistently pushing into more.

“Travelers carry their devices with them at all times and expect travel-related services to be on their phone,” Mr. Xavier said.

“And this goes beyond just the simple flight, hotel and car experiences,” he said.

“Travelers want to capture and share their experiences while traveling and even spend some time engaging with their trips ahead of time by researching and planning amazing activities. All these things can and will be done on mobile devices.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York