PWA: How New Web Apps are Changing the Travel Industry


PWA: How New Web Apps are Changing the Travel Industry

Picture of By Erin Rheinschild

By Erin Rheinschild

Mobile programs have limitless potential to shape visitor experience and destination management strategies in the post-pandemic era. Visitors have already become accustomed to on-demand, digital, and QR code-based services, in fact they now expect to have this option. 

To walk you through why the old thinking on apps doesn’t apply to the new mobile landscape, it’s important to understand the power of progressive web apps – or PWAs. Let’s dive into how PWAs are bypassing traditional roadblocks and conflicts with your key goals and paving the way for deeper visitor engagement. 

1. Top Brands are Using Progressive Web Apps with Better Results

Web apps are lighter, faster, easier to maintain, and deliver a seamless user experience. Many customers will not even realize they are using them. Starbucks, Pinterest, Twitter, etc., have been successfully using web-based apps for several years, and deliver up to 12x more users by bypassing the app store download process. Delivery is now by QR code or a shared link and easily bookmarked. This is no longer the bleeding edge of innovation, PWAs have been road-tested by top brands with amazing results. 

2. PWA’s deliver the functionality you like about a Native App.

They work offline, deliver messages, and can be linked to the phone desktop. A good PWA will link directly to your CMS/CRM for consistency in brand and content, but serve up information relevant to the in-market visitor. Many destinations are already experimenting with using PWA programs to deliver passports, trails, and scavenger hunt experiences using interactive digital and gamification. They have the opportunity to go further and make a full destination management solution around their trails programs that drives intent to return, and longer stays. Sioux Falls & Bellevue have done just that, driving significant new engagement in the first year.   

3. PWA’s drive more engagement data for your organization, re-positioning your website content for in-market exploration.

Most destination marketers by now have in their toolkit a mobile responsive website that delivers quality user experiences across every type of personal device, with big goals for website visitation and inspiring travel decisions. Web-based apps extend that investment into a cost-effective and efficient engagement tool for the visitor upon arrival, using personalized marketing, gamification, and geo-aware features. 

We know that many visitors defer itinerary decisions to arrival, and you are not bridging this gap with website content alone. Upon arrival, visitors are looking for information that will help them get around, finalize activities, and connect with local culture.  As destination stewardship gains steam as a strategic role for any tourism organization, you can no longer afford to ignore mobile as an opportunity to build more data and better marketing opportunities in-market. 

 If you want to learn more about how to connect different data points, and utilize PWA to build better data for your organization, your members, travelers, and stakeholders, call us at 833-300-6664 or email us at and our team will help you.

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