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Fodor’s monetizes mobile strategy with in-app ticket purchases

May 9, 2012

The Fodor's City Guide app for New York

Travel guide publisher Fodor’s Travel has enhanced its mobile applications with several integrations designed to make it easy for users to go from researching to booking reservations or purchasing tickets without having to leave the app.

The Expedia Affiliate Network, OpenTable and TicketsNow have all been integrated into the latest version of Fodor’s City Guide apps for iPhone and iPad. As a result, users can now easily book hotels, make a dinner reservation and purchase show tickets from within the app.

“Including the in-app purchasing capabilities through Expedia, OpenTable and TicketsNow allows our travelers to not only research Fodor’s recommendations for their destination via the City Guide apps, but also instantly make plans and reservations for a Fodor’s recommended hotel, dinner or show without having to leave the app, a great added convenience for travelers,” said Amanda D’Acierno, vice president and publisher of Fodor’s Travel,  New York.

“Partnering with our affiliates has also allowed us to offer the app to travelers free of charge,” she said.

“We want to make the Fodor’s City Guide apps as easy to use and seamless as possible for travelers, combining maps – also accessible offline – Fodor’s reviews and expert recommendations, and booking all in one experience, so accessing the information you need and making plans while you’re on the road is easy.”

Free to use
The updated apps allow travelers to book hotels through the Expedia Affiliate Network, which is a private label division of online travel agency Expedia Inc. Additionally, users can make dinner plans with OpenTable, which provides free, real-time online restaurant reservations as well as purchase show and concert tickets through TicketsNow, Ticketmaster’s resale marketplace.

In addition to the new integrations, the City Guide apps feature interactive offline maps and geo-location services so that travelers can search to find what is nearby. Users can also browse the apps by interest, such as what to see, what to eat, shops, nightlife/arts and where to stay.

Other content found in Fodor’s City Guide apps includes reviews, Fodor’s Choice picks as well as bookmarking and field-note tools.

The City Guide apps, which are free of charge for the first time, are available for six cities: New York City, Paris, London, Rome, Barcelona and San Francisco.

Fodor’s expects to make Nook and Android editions of the apps available in the coming months.

Listening to travelers
The travel sector has been one of the most active in mobile because of the convenience provided to travelers by being able to search for a destination or book a hotel room while on the go.

Fodor’s new apps are powered by Red Foundry’s Fusion platform.

“This is the second generation of apps from Fodor’s, and we’ve listened to travelers and learned along the way to tweak these updated apps to better serve the needs of our travelers,” Ms. D’Acierno said.

“For both versions of the apps, we’ve partnered with experienced developers who helped us create great user experiences utilizing our trusted travel content, combining their expertise on designing for the app market with our editors’ expertise on each destination,” she said.

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