eTravel Companies Without Mobile Offerings Risk a Crash and Burn, IDC Says

FRAMINGHAM, MA – JANUARY 17, 2001 – Mobile applications are quickly moving from a value-added feature to a competitive necessity in the travel industry. According to IDC, over the next four years mobile access will transition from a niche technology to a mainstream tool, and nowhere will this change be more apparent than in the travel industry.


"The on-the-move lifestyle of travel customers "especially business travelers – makes the mobile Internet and the travel industry an ideal fit," said Joshua Friedman, senior research analyst for IDC's eTravel research program. "Business travelers often have to revise their travel plans during their trip and due to tight schedules reconfirm flight times to avoid losing precious time. These revisions are often event-driven and time-sensitive and require immediate, real-time access; so, mobile solutions are becoming a must-have for travel businesses operating in an Internet environment."

With mobile Internet access, travel customers will be able to directly contact their travel agent or carrier directly to check availability, make itinerary changes, and obtain information about delays or cancellations from any location. The mobile Internet will also help travel agents and airlines proactively notify customers of delays, cancellations, and other relevant information.

IDC expects these mobile travel services to be well received and forecasts the number of mobile travel service users to increase from 1 million in 2000 to more than 22 million by 2004.

"These services will be extremely valuable to business and leisure customers and will make travel among the most popular services available on the mobile Internet," said Keith Waryas, research manager for IDC's Mobile eBusiness program.

Travel and Wireless: Mobile Technology in the Most Mobile of Industries (IDC #B23663) is a new bulletin from IDC's Mobile eBusiness and eTravel research programs. The bulletin examines how mobile technologies can be best utilized in the travel industry. It forecasts U.S. mobile travel service users and the type of services they are using through 2004. It highlights current offerings and analyzes barriers to the success of mobile travel applications. It ends with recommendations on what vendors need to do to succeed in this space.

To purchase the report, contact Demetra Georgakopoulos at 1-800-343-4952, extension 4496, or

About IDC

IDC is the foremost global market intelligence and advisory firm helping clients gain insight into technology and ebusiness trends to develop sound business strategies. Using a combination of rigorous primary research, in-depth analysis, and client interaction, IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends to deliver dependable service and client advice. More than 700 analysts in 43 countries provide global research with local content. IDC's customers comprise the world’s leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

IDC is a division of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company.

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