How To Promote Travel Apps

If you go in a crowded place and you ask “Who likes to travel?” You will see all hands up because let’s face it; traveling is one of our biggest pleasures. If this is true, then why is it so hard to gather valuable users for your travel app? Actually, a better question would be: What are the best methods for acquiring loyal users when I have a travel app? Don’t worry; you will receive the answer by the end of this article.

Business Model

Let’s start, as we always do, by spying the most popular apps in this category. We will go to App Annie and we will observe some successful business models. There are a few apps that reached the top five for both platforms. We can see that Yelp and Airbnb are among users’ favorites on iOS (first image) and Android (obviously the second one) devices. It means that customers prefer to download a single app which is able to offer them a complete experience, but we will talk more about that later. On the other hand, it appears that the apps which focus on certain groups of people like HappyCow which takes care of vegetarians and Camp & RV for the ones who don’t look for a hotel room when they travel are also appreciated by users even if they come with a price. Now, think about your app. Does it offer a mixed adventure or it is concentrated on a special type of travelers?

Image Source: https://www.appannie.com/en/apps/google-play/top/united-states/application/travel-and-local/


Image Source: https://www.appannie.com/en/apps/google-play/top/united-states/application/travel-and-local/


How To Promote Travel Apps

We have for you an entire list of processes available for promoting your travel app. Let’s discuss them in detail and to reveal the most suitable methods for completing them.


Information is a powerful tool for you as an app owner and also for customers, no matter your app category. Try to gather as much data about your users as you can. Be careful, not to jump from the start with annoying questions. Don’t forget what we discussed about onboarding. But when you have the occasion, save their preferences and build their profiles step by step. This way you can serve them the right content at the right moment. They will be happy when you will help them to avoid the long lines, when you will announce them about delays and so on, so forth. You can use in-app messages and push notifications for reaching your purpose. The bottom line is to make sure that your customers save money and time when they use your app. Just confirm that your app becomes users’ companion. Do you remember how TripAdvisor did it?

Image Source: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tripadvisor-hotels-restaurants/id284876795?mt=8



Related to the previous point is the necessity of using location-based services. These features aren’t just for maps and navigation apps, you know? You have to connect with your user and to offer information about the most interesting places when they arrive in a certain area. What is the best restaurant or a hotel room with great reviews? In the same time, you need to keep in mind that people love to taste local flavors but they also love to feel like home in foreign countries. Finding a balance between these two expectations is the key here. This is also an opportunity for you to create a partnership with other apps for providing an unforgettable experience. Personalization is an important factor and doesn’t forget that an easy to handle app is mandatory when people don’t have time to browse through your complex creation. HotelTonight is the best example in this case because it allows users to make plans according to their preferences and their budgets.

Image Source: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/hoteltonight/id407690035?mt=8



It seems that social media networks were created for travelers. They love to share their thoughts on these channels and to brag about their journeys. So don’t just stand there with your app, you need to involve your creation in the entire discussion about different destinations. Spread your knowledge and make sure that you create the right atmosphere which inspires people to travel. As we wrote earlier, users appreciate when they find in a single place everything they need for their next adventure. Also, social channels provide a good occasion for storytelling so you must leverage content marketing or to encourage users to upload snippets from their expeditions, especially when they are using your app. Meanwhile, you shouldn’t forget about YouTubers or social media ads. Take advantage of all these methods to gather users around your app and to make sure that they will remember your brand for their next voyage. This is the success story behind Airbnb if you recall.

Image Source: https://www.airbnb.com/mobile



Most of the people will need your app just once a year when they take a long vacation, but it doesn’t mean that you need to wait that long. When you create customer loyalty programs or you offer some special bonuses you have big chances to attract them and to convince them to visit your app between their journeys. What do you think people appreciate the most in a travel app? Perhaps lower prices? If this is true, then you can show them a few offers for city breaks. Weekends are great for them to travel and to enjoy your app even more. This means that you are about to acquire users with high lifetime value which is in fact what you were looking for in the first place, isn’t it? Skyscanner seems to be a good choice for all customers who want to find the cheapest flights or hotels.

Image Source: https://www.skyscanner.net/mobile.html


Final Thoughts

Well, we can go on and on about traveling and especially about travel apps, but it is time to go back and to analyze everything we discussed so far. Doesn’t seem a great plan to make your app visible for the target audience? If you think so, then what are you waiting for? Hopefully, next time when we check App Annie for this category, your app will be somewhere in that list.

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