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Five steps for travel agents to be successful in 2019

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In 5 to 10 years’ time, travellers will spend much less time arranging travel and much more time enjoying the travel experience.”

This is according to Rodrigo Acuna Agost, Head of AI Research at Amadeus in the latest whitepaperThe importance of understanding travellers’ motivation.

The report stipulates that in recent decades, technology has unlocked a deeper understanding of how people search, book and experience travel. The ability to ‘anticipate’ and ‘predict’ what travellers want is now a reality.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that travellers have individual idiosyncrasies and subtle personal motivations that need to be carefully understood if travel companies are to foster deep, lasting and authentic customer relationships.

The challenge for the industry in 2019 will be to understand the importance of the underlying travel motivations in order to offer clients the fully personalised dream experience they are looking for.

Below are five steps for travel companies to be successful in 2019 in a changing environment:

1. Look at what drives your existing customers to come to you.

The answer is likely to be different depending on what services you offer. Consider both the rational reasons (price, ease of booking) as well as the more emotional or underlying reasons (adventure, comfort, trust). Look at how your offer across all customer touchpoints reinforces these strengths.

2. Bolster your offer by offering additional content.

Deliver more of an experience to your customers to inspire their imagination and strengthen your proposition.

3. Think beyond the usual data.

Look at additional datasets that will help to get a rounder picture of your customers, or potential customers, that may give insights into their wider behaviour and motivations.

4. Explore new and emerging technologies and techniques.

Whether it is virtual reality, augmented reality or AI, be imaginative about how to incorporate new innovations into your offer. Identify potential pilot projects to gain insight on how better to relate to customers.

5. Focus on improving digital conversion.

Being better targeted and delivering more personalized offers is an indication that you understand your customers and what motivates them. It will help to build trust and loyalty and help you to reduce costs and drive increased revenues. Use experiments to hone and perfect this.

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