Are you ready for Destination X?

Michelle Batten

Head of Global Marketing, Mobile Division, Travel Channels, Amadeus

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Picture it. Sicily, 1922. A young girl meets an as yet unknown artist. They spend the day strolling the streets in wonder at the sights, smells and sounds of the people around them.

Later, they dance as the stars come out to greet them. Or so it goes as this all too familiar tale taken from one of television’s most memorable characters, Sophia Petrillo of the 1980’s series the ‘Golden Girls’, would unveil. Now, if you are a Sophia fan like me, you could listen to all of her Sicily stories again, and again. Why? Her character’s unique way of expressing what happened to her in each particular place wins your heart each and every time – and that it what Destination X is all about: delivering great experiences and good memories to travelers.

We all begin our travels with a mode of transport – that being air, rail, car or ship as well as a place to lay our head.  However, what we do in the very places we visit can make a lasting impact and determine the ultimate success of a trip, whether for business or pleasure or even a bit of both. Whether you are traveling to a somewhat familiar place or visiting for the first time, exciting adventures await you in Destination X.

What is Destination X? It is the wonderful, yet largely hidden and untapped ancillary service marketplace catching fire in the post-booking phase of travel. Yet, very little is known or understood about how travelers are navigating and coping with it. Quite surprising when you factor in PhocusWright’s prediction that the market for travel activities is expected to reach $183 billion by 2020.

At Amadeus, our curiosity drew us to dig deeper and take a closer look at the needs, desires and pain points surrounding road warriors and leisure goers as they approach and move around their destination.  In the fall of 2018, we launched a global study and asked travelers in over thirty countries to share their thoughts and feelings around the destination experience. What we found from our research was illuminating:

Next, we asked top experts from our Amadeus Mobile COLLECTIVE partner brands to each share their views on our findings and how we can best respond to the evolving needs of modern travelers, while driving more business.

In the coming months, we will take you on a journey with us to explore the challenges and opportunities arising from the post-booking ancillary world of Destination X. Through this blog series, my colleagues at Amadeus, our partners and other travel industry stakeholders will examine trends from our study and discuss how we can collectively step up our ancillary service game. To get you started, we invite you to learn more about our research by viewing the infographic with key highlights and downloading the full whitepaper here.

Picture it. Destination X, 2019. Are you ready?

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Traveler Experience, Mobile