Although 2018 will present travel agents with a certain number of challenges from safety, to sustainability and personalisation, the new year will also bring exciting new tech trends.
Travel agents that are likely to succeed in 2018 will be able to offer, in an integrated way, all the content that is coming from different suppliers, with the ability to personalise that content and offer a truly unique offer.
Amadeus lifts the veil to four exciting tech trends that will help travel agents become successful in the year to come and win their travellers’ loyalty:
Mobile is becoming a critical means to winning traveller loyalty. Underpinning this growing shift are two critical facts that can no longer be ignored:
– The majority of travellers’ digital moments are now mobile: nearly 90%, according to a Google study. Last year, Phocuswright also reported that mobile’s share of online page views increased by 20%. In contrast, desktop’s share of online views sunk by nearly 10%.
– When it comes to branding power, mobile packs a powerful punch. In a study by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), mobile was found to be over 2.5 times more effective in lifting purchase intent as well as brand favourability and likelihood to recommend.
Personalisation is becoming key to building loyalty with travellers and helping travel sellers create exceptional experiences.
Personalisation provides travel agents with the competitive advantage to differentiate not only their offers but also their customer care strategy.
In the travel industry, a revolution has been quietly taking place in the way travel agencies pay suppliers.
Historically, this money flow has been managed – to the satisfaction of most – by IATA’s Billing and Settlement Plan (BSP). However, the growth of air content outside of the BSP – such as low-cost carriers – and the increasing reliance of travel agencies on non-air content for their revenues – has driven travel agencies to look for alternatives such as virtual cards.
Virtual cards currently allow instant payment where the physical card is not required (online, over the phone, or fax), replacing payment methods such as invoicing, wire transfers, bank debit card, cheques and cash advances. These cards also ease payment outside the business service provider, facilitate the reconciliation of sales and reduce fraud risk through increased security.
4. Big data
Big Data is what really unites all technology. New sources of data and information are prompting travel brands to innovate in terms of how travel is sold, how travellers are serviced and how disruption is managed.
Travel brands need a 360-degree view of the traveller and everything that goes into creating special, unique, memorable experiences. At every moment in the traveller’s journey, from the time they make an air booking or search for a train timetable online, to their hotel check in, their actions create data.
This data, picked up from hundreds of points across the travel network, presents a valuable opportunity for travel companies to provide better-individualised services to the traveller and improve his or her experience.
The possibilities for innovation are limitless when we look at the tech trends. At Amadeus, we believe that the best way to predict the future is to simply create it. We’re ready to step in and shape the future of travel together with travel agents.