We’re creating a more connected travel industry, underpinned by sustainability and long-term investor relations.
Paul de Villiers
Director, Africa, Amadeus IT Group
Nowadays, travellers are not only multichannel but also more digital and hyperconnected than ever. They can use their connected devices to interact with other users through online communities and social networks, follow well-known bloggers, and even get a more complete travel experience through augmented reality technology. This has had a great impact on how travellers organise their trips, as well as on the manner in which travel agencies interact with their clients.
Amadeus’ study “From chaos to collaboration”foresees most people will have adopted 4G technology by 2016. This means that travellers will be able to access a greater number of more efficient and sophisticated mobile services in a simpler and faster manner. Being permanently connected to their customers will in fact translate into new business opportunities for travel industry providers.
Furthermore, Amadeus’ study, “Thinking like a retailer: Airline merchandising”, which examines where, when and how airlines should comercialise their products, highlights that personalisation is key to drive revenue growth. It also shows an increase in passengers’ average expenditure of between 30 to 35 Euro through personalised packages from airlines and their partner travel providers. According to this study, 1 in 4 passengers would prefer to consider additional airline offers while thinking about their next trip on their way home.
For travel agencies, other stages such as inspiration, search, management, means of transportation and post-travel time are also part of the travel experience. In this regard, travel agencies are in a privileged position in terms of taking advantage of this travel cycle by using the technology available. Travel agencies must focus on travellers by identifying first what their business model is, their added value and the place that this value has within a hyperconnected world, while also analysing all available client information.
Today, enhancing the traveller’s experience can’t be understood without interpreting correctly - and on the basis of data protection and client consent - the massive generation of data derived from user access to the internet. This will provide travellers and companies with more information, will facilitate offer personalisation and will further enhance the industry’s revenue and profitability.
While this hyperconnected reality constitutes a great challenge for travel agencies, translating these super consumers’ digital presence into products and services that would further enhance the travel experience also represents a fantastic business opportunity. Travel agents can now reinforce their role as advisors by proposing personalised offers, managing the huge amount of information available in an effective manner, as well as applying their experience and knowledge to other users’ recommendations.
How do you think mobile technology will drive business growth for the travel industry? Share your thoughts with us!