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ebookers.com, the leading pan- European online travel agency, became a client of Fortune Cookie in late 2010 when they were appointed to strengthen their growing mobile services offering by creating a unique destination based iPad app. Fortune Cookie have excellent credentials and a track record spanning more than 10 years in the travel sector, having delivered a range of digital projects for clients including Small Luxury Hotels of the World, TUI, Europcar and NetJets.
ebookers.com wanted an iPad application that was innovative, inspirational and engaging to provide added value to customers, create increased brand awareness among the general public and media and, though low on the list of objectives, to positively impact upon hotel bookings.
Fortune Cookie recognised the importance of personalised social content to truly inspire and engage customers. Although there were other popular travel apps in the market, their content was not bespoke or destination focused, making them feel quite static and difficult for users to really interact with. The strategy was to create a completely unique proposition for users that remained fresh, exciting and aspirational no matter how many times they searched.
The groundbreaking new ebookers Explorer app was launched in May 2011, pulling together socially-generated content from across the internet, tailored to the destination the user is looking to explore, and delivered in an easily digestible travel magazine format. Flickr photographs, YouTube videos, Twitter tweets, Google blog posts and hotel information from the ebookers website are combined, allowing users to access and share all the latest information about their chosen destination and activity. Designed to increase consumer engagement in the research phase of the holiday process, the app is described as ‘a real travel magazine for real travellers’- the world’s first social media travel app.
The app sits comfortably in the Top 5 travel apps around the world and has a customer rating of 4 out of 5. It has achieved fantastic press coverage with glowing reviews in the Guardian, the Independent, Brand Republic, Travel Weekly and Travolution to name a few. The app was also voted an Apple Staff Favourite in 94 countries and has been featured on the Apple iPad App Store Home Page in 6 countries. It was also named named mobile of the day by the Favourite Website Awards (FWA) for 11th June.
Justin Cooke, CEO of Fortune Cookie said "This is the first social media travel guide application in the world. ebookers have always been a company which recognises the opportunities in digital, which is why we've helped them lead the way in harnessing content from the world's richest social media platforms and then delivering it in a beautifully crafted, familiar magazine format. Travel is all about experiencing the unexpected. This app puts that in the palm of your hand."
Rob Define, Director of Product Strategy at ebookers, says “Fortune Cookie’s understanding of the latest technologies and devices, user-centred design, ebookers’ proposition and the travel industry as a whole means we’ve been able to deliver a truly inspirational application for real travellers of the world.”
Fortune Cookie and ebookers will soon be speaking at the World Travel Market on the 8th and 9th of November, the Travel Technology Inititaive Autumn Conference on 20th September and be present at The Travolution Summit on 11th October sharing their experiences of building the application.
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