Hostelworld is launching an iPhone-specific site to cater to "flashpackers" (different than their mobile site).
Ni Mhir said that Hostelworld was surprised by the take-up of their mobile site but that it seems to be used by existing customers as part of the booking process where users can adds reviews via their mobile and will receive SMS confirmation from each booking so that they can review the map, directions and details all through their handset.
“For the iPhone site, what we have actually focused on is the booking and review capability, additional content like the social networking aspect is not available on the iPhone application because, for the screen size, the primary goal is to be able to clearly review the pricing and ratings.”
This investment in the mobile web is justified said Ni Mhir because a growing segment of Hostelworld’s customer base is in Asia and customers there appear to do most things on their phone and customer feedback helped the travel site decide to go in this direction.
The article mentions that they are getting the Hostelworld iPhone site ready for this upcoming season, and that the next step is to make Boo.com "iPhone ready".
The full article is here.