MOBILE PHONE APPLICATIONS AS INNOVATIVE MARKETING TOOLS FOR HOTELS
Continuous growth in mobile Internet users has created an opportunity for hotel marketing. Mobile marketing (m-marketing) is a means for hotels to communicate and interact with the travel market. Mobile phone applications (apps) are specific mmarketing tools designed for the interchange of information, networking, and leisure. The study evaluated mobile phone apps as marketing tools for hotels, including the extent of marketing outcomes. Data came from observations of and reports on the mobile phone apps of InterContinental, Hilton Hotels and Marriott Hotels. The results indicated that mobile phone apps could be effective marketing tools based on app downloads, actual bookings and sales. Development cost is fixed while potential revenue could be exponential. Hotels using mobile apps can improve marketing outcomes by using tracking and reporting tools, making better versions, expanding features, and ensuring differentiation.