Smartphone and mobile internet access have transformed all facets of daily life, and among industries that have suffered a real earthquake is the tourist.

Those days of paper planes and incomprehensible conversations about how the transport systems in a city work, are gone. Today smartphones and applications can translate words and phrases on their screens, give local information in real time, are able to locate and place you on a map anywhere in the world, use boarding passes, book a restaurant, or find a Cheap hotel at the last minute.

Mobile tourists or how mobile devices are transforming the travel marketIn a recent study by BI Intelligence, the consultancy explores the mobile travel services market and, among other opportunities, highlights the following opportunities currently available:

Tourism is one of the main industries

Across the world it represents an economic volume of $ 6 billion in direct and indirect impacts. Tourism accounted for 10.8% of GDP in 2011, with more than 114 billion euros in business. Many of the applications developed for the tourism industry have millions of users. PhoCusWright has estimated that the mobile market in the US This year could reach over 8 billion dollars, within a global market of 10 billion.

Mobile travelers are a particularly attractive audience for brands and advertisers

Recent studies on mobile travelers have identified a number of demographic elements, as well as habits, that make this group even more desirable. For example, business travelers are now more inclined to book their travels on their mobile phones (32% already do) and consumers who use their mobile devices to buy travel-related services tend to have Income levels higher than the average.

Online travel is increasingly “mobile”

It is not surprising considering the increasing penetration of smartphones and their use as a travel tool. Some of the major travel agencies already have a significant percentage of their business in mobile reservations. But opportunities for the tourist market go beyond reservations. Advertising in travel applications will become increasingly important in part because of its ability to obtain data on the location of users.

Mobile devices play a big role in last-minute hotel reservations

The online travel agency Orbitz has calculated that 70% of reservations made on smartphones are made not before the day before check-in. Expedia also has a fairly similar figure, with 68% of its mobile reservations made within 24 hours prior to the stay. Mobile devices represent a major business opportunity in hotel reservations, creating a channel through which rooms that once may have been empty could be sold.