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How can travel players leverage the crowdfunding trend?

Gaëlle Desportes

Regional Marketing Manager Western Europe, Middle East and Africa, Amadeus IT Group

From smart luggage to performance dress shirts and the ultimate travel jacket with a built-in neck pillow, crowdfunding is already changing how we travel. But just how can travel players leverage the crowdfunding trend?

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Crowdfunding, or funding a project by collecting many small donations through the Internet, raised $16 billion in 2014 and is poised to leapfrog venture capital in 2016 according to research byMassolution .

Today, successful travel crowdfunding campaigns are not numerous and most of them fail in fact. However, as a test marketing tool, crowdfunding is highly effective. If you’re able to raise funds for a product or idea, then it likely has a market.

For travel players, crowdfunding is also a great way to engage with potential customers who, if they believe in your idea, will back you up. As such, travel agents naturally become part of the experimental process and, thus, grow fonder in the hearts of their customers.

Looking ahead, the process of finding and booking travel may become more democratised through crowdfunding, while setting the tone for product offerings. For example, travel plans focused on a cause-based campaign, like volunteering in remote locations, could gain traction through crowdfunding. Travel players could then leverage the popularity of these campaigns in their own offerings. Overall, this new direction has the potential to make travelling accessible to a wider variety of people, while enriching the quality of travel experiences and encouraging established or start-up travel businesses to expand and diversify.

What do you think? How can travel players leverage crowdfunding to create better experiences for their customers?