In previous posts, we’ve talked about the uselessness of mobile apps for brands. The travel industry, however, is an exception. Chinese mobile travel apps reach 90 million unique viewers a month, and hotel app drive bookings. L2’s China Prestige Hotels Insight Report finds brands are making investments. Thirty-six percent of brands have Chinese-language iOS mobile apps, and 33 brands make their English language apps available in China’s iTunes stores. Starwood Hotels, Hyatt, Hilton Worldwide and InterContinental Hotel Group have all invested in China-specific apps. Of those, InterContinental Hotel Group’s iOS has the highest rating, 4.5.

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When compared to OTA’s however, hotel brands are behind in quality. The average hotel brand app in the China iTunes stores has 78 ratings with an average score of 3.4. The average OTA has 191 ratings and an average score of 4.4. Given the consumers’ receptiveness to travel booking apps, prestige hotels in China have the opportunity to differentiate themselves with a high-quality, well-promoted app.

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