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Last Minute Travel shakes up mobile-enabled travel with activity-booking app

Last Minute Travel is differentiating itself from the plethora of online travel agencies by introducing a new standalone booking application for activities, enabling consumers to instantly purchase tickets for sporting events, shows and various attractions.

Last Minute Travel’s WhaToDo app offers users access to the brand’s exclusive perks – such as priority seating and VIP access – as well as the ability to purchase tickets for tens of thousands of attractions directly on their smartphones. Although the mobile booking sector is rife with options for accommodations and travel, not many OTAs are offering a singular location where consumers can book their vacation activities while out and about.

“Activities stand out from other travel products as being the last thing travelers tend to book – and often times while the trip is already in motion,” said Omer Chehmer, product manager of mobile and Web at Last Minute Travel. “We created WhaToDo specifically for those travelers who are looking for a fast and easy way to book activities on the go.

“We also understand that consumers may not always book their flights, hotels, and car rentals with Last Minute Travel, but they can still utilize WTD when they’re ready to find activities.”

Last-minute entertainment options
The WhaToDo app, which is available for iOS and Android devices, gives vacation-goers the option of waiting until the last minute to purchase activity packages and event tickets. Therefore, if consumers are unsure of their plans for a specific evening or day, they can wait as long as necessary before pulling out their smartphones and browsing available entertainment options.

WhaToDo lets users book tickets for tens of thousands of attractions, including tours, shows, transfers and sporting events at OTA-like prices. Activities can be purchased in more than 1,000 destinations worldwide.

Last Minute Travel identified a gap in the market for a specific app relating to last-minute activity opportunities. WhaToDo was designed to serve consumers visiting new cities, as well as locals looking for something new to do in their towns.

Users are able to book attractions in advance or purchase a day-of activity, a notion that will likely appeal to travelers preferring flexible schedules.

Upon opening, the app will instantly display a list or map view of nearby activities for consumers to choose from. Additionally, WhaToDo will offer a slew of currency options as well as the ability to filter search queries by price, proximity or alphabetically.

Round-the-clock customer support is also available.

The battle heats up
As OTAs continue growing in force and more consumers begin booking trips and accommodations via their mobile devices, the travel and hospitality sector is bound to see a plethora of new trends arise in 2016. Booking apps will be forced to leverage new strategies to retain existing customers and entice new users.

Google is taking the travel industry head-on with the rollout of its newest tool, Destinations on Google, which lets consumers discover and book their next vacation entirely via mobile search – a tactic that could put a dent in online travel agencies’ bookings (see story).

“Cross-device tracking will allow us marketers to provide a personalized, super relevant offer/deal for each user,” Mr. Chehmer said.

He also named new payment methods and fingerprint usage as trends to watch this year.

Last Minute Travel Deals is doing its part to ensure it stays at the forefront of travelers’ minds, as well as their smartphone screens.

The brand revamped its mobile app last summer to offer users a customizable search results list, single-view map and home page that displays rooms available for day-of booking, suggesting that more consumers are searching for same-day accommodations on mobile (see story).

“Pricing is dramatically cheaper than any other activity app out there,” Mr. Chehmer said. “And our interface streamlines the entire process, allowing users to find, book, and pay for all of their needs with only four clicks.”