Travelers just want that personal touch

Edgar Vega

Commercial Head APAC for Mobile

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Travel is mobile – and many travelers are always ON, including myself. Now that 5G is being rolled out in different regions across the world, I’m excited to see how it will transform the travel business, and the way travelers will look for and buy trips, especially destination services - ranging from hailing a ride to the hotel, to booking a top local restaurant table, to gaining airport lounge access. Mobile is the perfect habitat for these kinds of services to live and with 5G now, they will truly thrive.  Personally, I’m imagining being able to virtually preview my hotel roomor even the Phuket snorkeling trip that I have been wanting to do since I moved to Thailand two years ago.

So, what is it with travelers and the personal touch? Many of us like both personal and personalized treatment. We feel valued and well taken care of as travelers when travel sellers know what we want, when we want it and more importantly, why we want it. This links back to the desire to always be on and be notified – or GNOMO (Get Notified Or Miss Out) as we like to call it in Amadeus. 

Actually, according to our own insight paper Get Ready for Destination X, where we surveyed over 1,000 travelers from all over the world, 2/3 of travelers struggle with planning their destination experiences due to either lack of time or poor access to trustworthy reviews and ratings. Many travelers want personal options but don’t have time to find it themselves or skim through reviews to make sure they’re actually getting what they are looking and paying for. 

“What you can attempt to do is to make best of breed educated guesses of what we know would frustrate the traveler and at least try to alleviate that. But in the very near future, we need to appeal more to that ‘one minute from now thirst’ that travelers have for activities, dining, transportation, parking, as well as other airport services such as lounge passes and security line leaps, etc. But to be deeply intimate and best in breed in each of these categories per region is still a large task.” - Michael Bayle, Executive Vice President for Mobile, Amadeus

This is where travel sellers can step in with a proactive approach, anticipating travelers’ needs at the right moment and empowering them with options through personalized notifications. Being one step ahead of your travelers is a great strategy to build trust and loyalty and at the same time increase ancillary services revenue through up and cross selling ancillary and destination services. But watch out for going overboard – spamming or sending irrelevant content most likely leads to travel sellers losing travelers’ attention for good. 

Building trust takes time as does getting to know travelers and their preferences. Collecting traveler data and implementing the right automation tools is fundamental to put ‘the personal touch’ into practice. Personalization is here to stay, travelers are hungry for it and with a mobile touchpoint, travel sellers are literally at the traveler’s fingertips throughout the entire trip – what better way to interact with the traveler than through their mobile?

Ultimately, travel experiences should be stress and worry free as possible.  In Amadeus, we are committed to accompany travel sellers on this journey to better serve travelers in the ancillary post-booking game. With this in mind, we recently published an insight paper that examines travelers’ needs and the critical role of destination services’ in improving the overall travel experience.

To find out more about our findings and recommendations on how to best help travelers in Destination X, please visit amadeus.com/DestinationX where you can download our paper, view our infographic and the 8 key trends extracted from our research.

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Traveler Experience, Mobile