Through independent research with thousands of global travellers, hundreds of travel professionals and interviews with leaders of some of the world’s biggest travel brands, Travelport discovered the major forces that will become the technology enablers of travel over the next decade, which include:
Customers in control
Several trends highlight that customers are moving towards self-service options, with 55% of those surveyed preferring to hear about travel disruption via digital communications rather than speak with a person on the phone. This is especially important when it comes to Gen Z, the future business traveler, and managing their high expectations through technology.
“Super apps” are spreading west from their established base in Southeast Asia. Super app tech giants such as WeChat, Grab and Go-Jek give their users a one-stop shop to communicate, shop online, book travel, bank, find a date, get food delivery, and pay for anything within a single, unified smartphone app. Travel brands that want to deliver holistic mobile customer experiences need to think about how they engage travellers within these super apps as well as in their own mobile channels.
In the next year, research shows we will see an accelerated rate of change in the way travel is retailed and purchased online. This includes wider and more complex multi-content reach, more enriched and comparable offerings, more focus on relevance than magnitude, and increase in automation that enables customer self-service.
Commenting on the trends, Fiona Shanley, Chief Customer and Marketing Officer at Travelport said: “These insights into the forces which will shape travel experiences as we start a new decade show we’re seeing rapid change in content retailing particularly online and an evolution of mobile travel as we all increasingly depend on our devices to help us navigate the world. It’s clear to see customers are driving change across the travel industry with new topics, such as the environmental impact of travel and when an agency could successfully employ a ‘bot’ show the 2020s will be another era of rapid change for travel. Our role is to help our customers be ahead of these trends to make the experience of buying and managing travel continually better, for everyone.”