The tourism industry is moving towards a fusion of technological and consumer trends. “Many consumer trends are based on technology, while numerous technological innovations are inspired by customers,” explains Daniel Batchelor, communications director of Amadeus.
The ten main tourism trends for next year are summarized below, according to the analysis carried out by this company.
1. Automated customer interactions
«Messaging applications began as a form of interaction between people. But now these applications allow companies to interact directly with customers, ”recalls Amadeus.
Earlier this year, Facebook informed investors that currently, the number of messages sent between people and companies each month amounts to 10,000 million
«More and more interactions between clients and companies are automated through a chatbot (…) The chatbots landscape is changing, since they are now able to” learn “many more things. If you connect the chatbots technology to internal data sources and overlap some machine learning machines, the bots get better over time and, in this way, learn more about how to respond in the best possible way to the queries received » .
Thus, “there are many travel agencies that use bots to boost product sales and cross-selling.”
2. Social networks will increase their power of influence
«As with chatbots, travel agencies should be interested in these platforms, since it is in them where their customers are. Instagram has about 500 million daily active users, 80% of whom follow at least one company, ”explains Amadeus’ communications director.
“Many companies are connecting their booking engine to an image or using the super sophisticated targeting offered by platforms to reach specific audiences who see specific images”
“These advertising products will become more sophisticated over time as the owners of the platform try to monetize users. Moral: Photo platforms are not limited to being a source of inspiration; they can lead to conversion.”
3. Consumers more aware of climate change
«Last October, the Swiss bank UBS observed that one in five Western travelers admitted to having flown less for environmental issues, among which the concept of“ flight shaming ”stands out (although not exclusively) fly) », points out Amadeus.
The sector must pay attention to this issue, as travelers are watching over us
“Many customers think that traveling is bad for the planet. The sector needs to find a way to dispel these fears and lead the debate at local and global levels. ”
4. Payment methods will be multiplied
“By having several credit and debit cards in our physical wallet, in addition to applications such as PayPal as a digital wallet, passengers hope to choose how to pay for their flights and hotels,” recalls Amadeus.
On the other hand, “one of the reasons that explain Uber’s global expansion is that the application serves as a de facto virtual wallet for transport when users are away from their homes. Comfort is what commands today. ”
Most international hotel chains have realized that Chinese guests who buy property want to use Alipay
Currently, as Amadeus explains, «travelers have more than 300 different forms of payment available to them. The financial technology sector (or fintech) helps suppliers by offering payment gateways and easier access to the platforms that travelers use ».
5. Individual trips will go further
As revealed by an Agoda report on solo travelers, in Asia millennials and members of the Z generation are the most likely to travel alone.
In the West, solo trips are more common among those of the X generation and the baby boom
In the United Kingdom, ABTA found that in 2018, more than one in six people had taken a vacation on their own, “which is a three-fold increase in just seven years.”
As Amadeus explains, the tendency to travel alone concentrates and expands the concept of bleisure (business + leisure). “Almost all business trips are done alone, so when they go on for free time, they become solo trips.”
6. Back to basics: people attending to people
«To achieve a good result, a chatbot needs to know when the conversation should be transferred to a real agent. As chatbots move from service to sale, transfer protocols become critical to the business, ”explains Amadeus.
«The abandonment of the purchase at mid-reserve is a matter of great importance today; the abandonment of bots could occur soon »
According to Amadeus, «travelers want to have options to choose from. Not everyone wants to register with their smartphone: some guests enjoy the advice of the concierge »
In any case, we see how at airports “self check-in, biometric passports, facial recognition, prior authorization and queue management are concrete examples of how technology is beginning to make everything better for the human beings.”
7. We’ll talk more to voice assistants
“In recent years, accuracy rates in speech recognition and natural language processing have been above 95%,” recalls Amadeus.
«Amazon has developed Alexa for Hospitality, aimed at large hotel chains and vacation rentals»
The Alexa for Hospitality system “makes tasks like playing music, asking for towels, controlling the temperature or lighting of the room, finding restaurants and places to visit, calling and even checking out are easier for guests” .
Occasional attendees can not only improve what the guest experience improves, “they also enable product sales, cross-selling and merchandising.”
8. Superplications arrive
«The idea of a super application for travel has been around for a long time. We believe that this idea will become important in the coming years for two reasons: the open source environment / API / associations means that it is possible to integrate all sources in a super-application, and customers are delighted with the idea, ”explains Amadeus.
To some extent, super-application already exists in several countries in Asia, “where e-commerce and courier companies, such as WeChat, Alipay and Meituan in China; Line in Japan and PayTM in India, have created multipurpose applications with which users can buy and pay for flights and hotels in the same place where they order takeaway, call a taxi or buy a shirt ».
9. Loyalty technology
«Loyalty to a particular brand or destination seems to belong to another era, with so many options just a click away. But we can use technology to foster the loyalty of today’s travelers, ”says Amadeus.
“Retaining customers is better than trying to get new ones.”
In any case, «personalization only works if the data can be captured, analyzed and managed so that the right product can be displayed at the same time, to the right customer».
10. Virtual reality, increasingly real
“Virtual reality is another trend that will probably gain prominence in the near future,” says Amadeus.
In fact, some applications already work in the field of travel reservations. The lowering of costs (software to produce it and the hardware to display it) will allow it to expand its use. “This means that travel providers can start thinking about virtual reality on a large scale.”
«Virtual reality has the potential to revolutionize the entertainment system on board airplanes»
Airlines such as Iberia, Singapore Airlines or SunExpress have conducted satisfactory virtual reality tests, which allowed passengers to use special glasses to watch 3D movies or play games.