The global travel market has enjoyed steady gains since 2010. In 2017, the year over year increase jumped from 4 percent to 7 percent. It’s a market that is subject to volatility from multiple sources. These sources include geopolitics, economics, climate change, and innovation. That makes the continuously upward international travel trend even more impressive. And, it’s showing no signs of slowing down.
According to Deloitte’s 2017 Travel and Hospitality Industry Outlook, upticks in employment and disposable income contributed to rising global consumer confidence. In turn, more global citizens booked flights, hotels, and vacation experiences.
And, it’s not just leisure travel that grew. In 2016, global business travel hit an unprecedented $1.3 billion. With individual consumers and corporations showing steady confidence in travel booking, how can an already thriving industry drive even greater travel spend in the years to come?
Legacy Corporations Must Evolve
One of the reasons for increased bookings over the last year is numerous resources designed to allow them to see new parts of the world in easy, hassle-free ways. Airbnb is one of the most prominent disruptors. They have brought the sharing and gig economies to the forefront of travel.
Airbnb has challenged hotel reservation rates and the norms that dictate how and why people travel. The innovator has encouraged all types of travelers to participate in a sharing economy. They become connected, global citizens rather than just temporary hotel guests.
Now, hotel corporations are still in the process of bringing their legacy service offerings to the same digital plane as newer platform-based entities. According to Deloitte’s study, hospitality organizations must find ways to offer new experiences to customers.
By focusing on digital touchpoints to create customizable, one-on-one interactions, hotels can create even more valuable customer service interactions while also supporting their guests’ mobile lifestyles. One means of doing this is by consolidating services within a centralized application. Airstayz streamlines the customer experience by facilitating keyless hotel entry and mobile booking in one platform. Additionally, the platform’s integration with ridesharing aggregation app, Bellhop, makes it even easier for hotel guests to independently navigate their temporary city.
Shifting Consumer Expectations Must Be Met
The stress of leaving the daily grind isn’t stopping global tourists from boarding planes and trains. However, it is encouraging them to rethink why they travel and how they spend. Today’s travelers already lead mobile app lifestyles. Despite the romantic notion of going off the grid, they often pursue authentic experiences supported by the ease of mobile platforms and applications.
Thanks to social media and today’s content-sharing culture, there is an increasing desire for singularity. People don’t want to travel in the same way as their friends and coworkers. Therefore, travel companies need to strengthen their services and focus on personalization.
Additionally, travelers are more accustomed to enjoying mobile-induced speed. The more travel organizations can add mobile features to streamline travel, the happier travelers will be. Deloitte’s study points to the rise of the Internet of Things. Also, it notes increased cloud computing as prominent growth drivers.
Platforms like App in the Air are utilizing several schools of technology to create one app experience that eases common customer pain points. For example, through machine learning and Augmented Reality, App in the Air allows customers to see a visualization of their seat before they board. They can determine the best travel route based on the day, time, and personal travel needs.
The travel sector is a unique hybrid. Mobile services and human interactions must synchronize to deliver an optimal user experience. Luckily, new innovations in platform technology are making it easier. Legacy organizations and travel upstarts are creating digital services and touchpoints to support offline experiences.
For the travel industry to continue to expand and grow revenue, companies must continue to search for engaging technological solutions. While no organization can control economics, geopolitics, and weather patterns across the globe, they can dictate how they meet and exceed shifting consumer expectations.