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Priceline’s Booking.com rounds out app strategy via Kindle Fire

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December 11, 2012

The Booking.com Kindle Fire app

Priceline’s Booking.com is proving that it is critical for online travel agencies to have a presence on multiple platforms with a new Kindle Fire application that lets users manage their vacation plans.

Bookings.com has been ramping up its mobile strategy recently as more consumers turn to their mobile devices to book hotel rooms. The Booking.com Kindle Fire app supports 25 languages and 27 currencies.

“Mobile continues to be a fast-growing channel for Booking.com, and the launch of the new native Booking.com Kindle Fire app further strengthens our mobile offering,” said Anoeska van Leeuwen, director of communications at Booking.com, Amsterdam.

“The new Booking.com Kindle Fire app enables our customers to easily make and access their hotel and accommodation bookings anywhere, anytime via their Kindle Fire devices, and offers the full functionality and features of other Booking.com mobile apps, including cross-platform synchronization via the user’s Booking.com account. It is also the latest in the Booking.com family of hotel booking apps, which are also available for iOS and Android devices and through Booking.com’s mobile Web site.”

Mobile bookings
The Bookings.com Kindle Fire app is available for free download in the Amazon Appstore.

The app is available in Britain, Germany, Spain, Italy, France, Japan and the United States.

The app is formatted for both Kindle Fire and HD 7-inch devices as well as 8.9 inch Kindle Fire HD devices.

Consumers can search and book from more than 250,000 properties in 178 countries. Users can search using their current location or by any of the Bookings.com destinations.

More than 2.6 million hotel and accommodation photos are included in the app. More than 17 million guest reviews are available in the app.

The app uses a Booking.com account to sync across multiple platforms.

Additionally, the app supports last-minute and exclusive deals for Bookings.com’s email subscribers and Facebook fans.

Once a consumer books a trip, the app includes features such as add-to-calendar and email confirmations to help travelers manage their vacations from their handsets. The app uses the Kindle Fire’s built-in map to show users where their hotel is.

Mobile-first
Bookings.com claims that bookings from smartphones and tablets generated more than $1 billion in 2011. That number was doubled in the first half of 2012.

Additionally, the Bookings.com Android app has been downloaded more than four million times, per the company.

As more marketers look to expand their mobile footprint, more online travel agents are developing for multiple app platforms across both smartphones and tablets.

For example, Bookings.com rolled out a Windows 8 app earlier this year to let users manage their itineraries from their devices (see story).

“The Kindle Fire is already a great travel companion for several reasons,” Ms. van Leeuwen said.

“First, it’s not a smartphone – it’s a 7-inch tablet – and it is closer in size to a paperback novel,” she said.

“The size makes it easier to read, view and browse, and because the Kindle Fire is widescreen, videos, photos and maps look almost as big as they do on larger tablet devices. The screen quality is on par with the iPad. Second, it’s a go-everywhere device with a reasonable price tag – $199 – that also harnesses the power of the cloud. All of these things make it a very compelling product for travelers who want to be connected anytime, anywhere.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily

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