In a reflection of how mobile is increasingly being used to research travel plans in advance, Omni Hotels & Resorts claims to be the first luxury hotel brand to offer a 24-hour courtesy hold for booking reservations made through mobile devices.

Travel-related brands often focus on mobile’s ability to enable travelers who already on the road book hotel rooms, car rentals and other services for the same day. However, as consumers increasingly leverage their smartphones throughout the day for a variety of activities, including researching an upcoming trip, savvy travel marketers are introducing services that meet the needs of these potential customers.

“[Courtesy hold] provides our guests flexibility to research locations and vacation packages available online at and lock in the rates for up to 24 hours without credit card-confirmation, payment or penalty,” said Tom Santora, chief marketing officer at Omni Hotels & Resorts.

“We redesigned our Web site late last year, and updates have been made in phases,” he said. “The courtesy hold function was always part of the plan and we are pleased to introduce it now as part of the overall redesign, ensuring the site is fully optimized for mobile platforms.

“Our customer data indicated nearly 50 percent of our guests’ research hotel reservations options from their mobile device or tablet, and then finalize their room reservations later from their desktop computers. This reinforces they are using mobile devices to research future hotel stays.”

Read full article at: Mobile Commerce Daily