The travel industry is booming at a rapid pace with new technologies, new strategies and new and innovative ways of making travel better for the consumer and more bottom lines for travel businesses. Have a look at the latest travel industry trends in 2016 –
Optimizing total revenue from ancillaries
Ancillary revenues have been a major revenue stream for travel brands for years generating roughly $60 billion to $80 billion per year, most of them being baggage fees and paid seats. However, these revenues are direct channel and are getting tapped out. The next phase for airlines to grow would be to sell indirect channel ancillaries. It will be mandatory for suppliers to provide incentives on indirect channels to sell these ancillaries. These indirect channels are going to increase the complexities and the more complex the product, the more you want an experienced intermediator. The next phase of revenue growth and which is indeed an important trend among the travel industry trends is to re-think loyalty. Airlines want to focus on people who pay most, not the ones who fly most. They are looking at total revenue optimization.
Being a good concierge
It is important to be a good caretaker and win customers’ hearts. The last thing anybody would want while travelling is to go back to their rooms and book something only to learn that it is not available. Agents can recommend hotels, flights or sightseeing activities on-the-go which increases the chance of customers buying more as not only is it convenient but customers also save a huge part of their time fretting upon booking inventories on their own.
More than TripAdvisor ratings
Hotel concierges need to understand that one of the latest travel industry trends is personalization. People need a unique experience. They don’t want to just go to a place rated number one on TripAdvisor. They want a personal advice on which places to visit because anybody can look up places on TripAdvisor. They want to know which location to visit and what’s so different about that location.
There is no agreement in the hotel industry as to who the competitor is. Any hotel brand, whether small or big can consider other hotels or brands as competitors. For example, a small hotel in Dubai might consider the Atlantis as its competitor. Small brands like Mandarin or Shangri-La can consider bigger luxury brands like Marriott and Hilton as their competitors. While they have big relations with Expedia and Booking.com, they see them as competitors too.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Artificial Intelligence is indeed one of the most innovative travel industry trends that has the most potential to grow and simplify travel. It has advanced to a point where the machine can analyse and learn our behaviour and our likes/dislikes and offer suggestions based on them. It can also offer more refined results based on a history of our booking patterns. AI has been a boon for the travel industry and will definitely make the job of personalization a lot easier compared to what it is today thereby resulting in an increase in overall revenue for travel businesses and a more personalized experience for travellers.
Google and OTAs
The big travel brands are spending millions or billions of dollars on advertising every year. They spend all the money on extracting, analyzing and understanding customer data. This data is then used to better their services and offer more customized deals to increase revenue. The biggest OTAs are spending almost $2 billion every year.