Evolving trends have brought many changes to the travel distribution landscape in the past few years. Not just inevitable, change is now a necessity to remain relevant. We can expect a great many changes in the future too, which will benefit both the sellers and travelers.
Before we jump to what 2019 will bring forth, let’s quickly take a look at the current events first, as they are going to transpire the veritable future of travel businesses.
By now we know the last year was all about keeping travelers happy by providing fast, simple and effective travelling solutions. Sellers have been doing it pretty much the best they can but to thrive in the overbearing competitive travel market, it’s time they ask the right questions to themselves.
Looking at your strengths and weaknesses, always ask what is it that you want to achieve and what will convert the future travelers into happy customers?
If we look at 2019, with artificial intelligence and enormous amount of data at their disposal, sellers can look forward to personalizing offers for higher revenue generation. But that doesn’t imply all travel companies just need to focus on AI and data.
With advanced technology at your fingertips, it is very easy to get distracted with a variety of like ideas that can bring you on top of your business. Having a clear mind and focusing on key suitable priorities must be the focus of businesses that aim at bringing profitable changes to their customers’ journey. Let’s have a look at the most anticipated trends that can help you achieve this in 2019.
In a recent report by Deloitte, the global travel industry gross net reached $1.6 trillion in 2017 and now accounts for an amazing 10.2% of the Global GDP. Travel giants like Airbnb and Uber along with many others continue to raise capital while many other tours and travel adventure companies are growing expeditiously.
Although we have previously seen a gap in funding, many investors are taking risks nowadays by investing outside core geographical areas like China, Latin America, South East Asia and India. Meanwhile, existing players are keeping up with the competition with their own venture investments.
Global travel industry is estimated to hit record revenue of $370 billion that accounts for a 5% growth by the end of 2018.
A subset of AI, machine learning equips a computer to undertake decision making for a given situation without requiring any human intervention. Big data empowers computers to do this and can help users with effective web search, dynamic pricing, speech recognition and many other things in the future.
The latest QTrace is yet another application waiting to utilize its full potential this year. A Bluetooth item tracker can now help you locate lost items like keys, luggage, your pet or wallet.
Investing in such arenas can eventually help your users avoid worry if they can’t find their valuables on a vacation. Availability of intelligent machines to help them out 24/7 can give them a smooth experience.
Digital transformation has been a key ingredient to maximize returns using customer information. Cloud computing uses scalable computer resources and IT infrastructure to harness large amounts of data to provide users with facilities like chatbots and virtual assistants all around the clock.
Use cloud computing to manage data efficiently across different channels like social media, review sites, affiliate networks etc. You can also directly integrate your information with data analysis tools to gain insights using cloud computing.
Artificial Intelligence is all set to provide sellers with data that helps analyze customers and then tailor results in accordance with the demand supply pattern. Most communication platforms now come with in-built intelligence that has the capability to understand and interpret large amounts of data. This can help sellers offer an accurate and highly personalized experience.
Many travel apps are integrating voice assistants and natural language search into their user interface. Digital assistants will now accompany you everywhere and can book your tickets or find you a ride anywhere.
Robotics is another field gaining popularity in the travel industry by offering opportunities for creativity and long lasting customer relationships. Robots can actually get jobs done more quickly and effectively. These come with features like voice recognition, advanced sensors, great mobility and a unique ability to interact with their environment.
Increased communication channels focus on customer experience rather than any other marketing strategy. Retailers now invest in customer experience design & management, fraud prevention, guest relations and loyalty program management as a means for revenue generation.
Social media plays a dynamic role as sharing travel experiences and research on travel destinations helps users see brands for what they are and influence their buying decisions. Providing a seamless travelling experience like no check-in lines at the airport and looking for an eatery late night is what empowers customers to invest with you.
Although United States and Europe have been home to amazing trending destinations previously, the winds are now blowing towards the East. A study shows that from the 2013 to 2017, the major share for travel tech is still dominated by the United States at 33%, but we can see new players like India at 31% and China at 10%.
The EU nations like France and Germany failed to attract more than 6-7% of tech and tourists. This clearly indicates that travelers around the world are focusing more on exploring the Asian countries.
Trending destinations can help you provide better deals, packages and discounts to your customers in their preferred locations.
The past few years have witnessed many lucrative changes in the services and experiences provided by the travel industry. The online travel market is no more limited to hotel and travel bookings.
The entire industry has experienced striking changes as machines have come of age. Digitization has helped sellers amass loads of data that they can now use to target customers. We are looking forward to many industry players investing in subsidiaries targeted solely on adventure treks, water sports and spiritual experiences.
Travelers will also be inclined to invest more on experiential travel rather than vacationing on the usual, much-frequented tourist spots. They look forward to spending more time, money and effort exploring local cuisines, lifestyles and culture.
‘Bleisure hotels’ are specialized to accommodate the suits, in case they want to enjoy the destination along with their business meetings. The MeliáDe Los Duques Hotel in Madrid is a great example that offers various activities like exclusive visits and guided tours promoting cultural tourism to its clients.
Knowing what exactly your customers want can help you earn loyal customers in the long run.
Budget vacations and travelling is not something that everyone is looking for. A report by Amadeus suggests that luxury travel has a projected growth of 6.8% in the next decade which is more than the growth of overall travel being at around 4.8%.
Luxury tours are most likely to attract reward hunters who aim to get the most out of their travel be it an exclusive yoga retreat in North India or a private cruise sail in the Caribbean. Travelers are seeking out extraordinary travel experiences and best of the facilities, and they don’t mind paying for it.
Customer profiling, pre & post travel support can encourage sellers to understand their role in the traveler’s journey and can help them adapt to their preferences and needs. The new age traveler isn’t restricted by finances and they look forward to pamper themselves by trying something new every now and then.
Understand your role of offering a luxury experience that is exclusive, curated, experience-led and personal.
Endangered Natural Places to get a boost from Tourism
Although the list of travelling destinations is endless, endangered habitats and famous cultural heritage spots have been inviting travelers from all over the world. Natural habitats are facing environmental problems due to the interference in the ecosystem and are thus on the verge of extinction.
Places like The Great Barrier Reef, Galapagos Islands, The AoPhangNga National Park and The Great Wall of China have been flooded with visitors all year round. Travelers aspire to check such exclusive destinations off their bucket lists.
Certain wildlife and cultural heritage is now on the brink of facing severe consequences due to over tourism and disruptions in the natural ecosystem. People hope to visit these before they are closed for public visitation.
The question now remains so as to how these destinations will address the problems caused by over tourism in 2019.
New trends educate travel industry retailers and agents on how travelers would want to travel in the coming future. It is an insight on how they can adapt to the changing needs of the market be it technology or community related. With artificial intelligence and an enormous amount of data at their disposal, sellers can look forward to personalizing offers for higher revenue generation.
Sellers now have the ability to sell museum tickets to art history lovers, food deals and discounts to foodaholics, city tours to vacationing families and absolutely anything that can happen after a airplane lands.
Travel companies can now build their technology according to the latest trends and present potential solutions to their online global audience. Investors must constantly innovate and invest in the latest tech to survive competition.
Sellers must be able to provide meaningful product choices in a cost effective manner to meet the demands of the new age traveler that can either be reward hunters, simplicity searchers or obligation meters.
With a greater role of travel advisors, customer personalization and advancement in technology we are looking at another eventful year for the travel industry in 2019.
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