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Every travel business should embrace technology to navigate possible recovery means as travelers continue to opt for more sophisticated sources of information

Every Travel Business Should Embrace Technology

Technology will continue to transform travel in 2021 and beyond. You may still be selling holidays, flights, or accommodation but the way you do so has significantly shifted and will keep doing so.

The most advanced travel companies are continuously harnessing tech more smartly every day to evolve what they do faster than ever before.

What does this mean for everyone else in the post-pandemic era? Here are five steps every travel company can take: 

Be open and collaborative

You may be in competition with other travel businesses but collaboration is critical for success in the post-pandemic travel industry. You can’t win on your own.

Like the global giants and world leading ATAs, every travel company can benefit from consuming and sharing data, inventory and digital services.

Some Tour operators have already implemented metasearch on their own sites, showing different purchasing options and even competitors for transparency and to prevent travelers from searching elsewhere. 

Consumers will tire of searching dozens of different sites to find the perfect holiday. The demand for consolidated services will rise.

Another technology we’ll see more of is blockchain which allows travel operators to share their inventory, lower distribution costs, and raises additional revenue.

Being open and collaborative can add value to your existing customers but also cast your net wider amidst stiff competition for consumer attention.

Embrace new pricing models

Price is a major driver in leisure travel. Even once travelers choose a hotel or flight, they’re hunting around for the best deal. Price predictors are already used by many leading travel operators including google flights, hopper, and many more and we are seeing more emerging post-pandemic. After booking, services like Pruvo help travelers rebook at a lower price point, adding pressure on travel operators to sell more of their inventory on deals.

New models are emerging to counter reduced loyalty and the race to the bottom like BeRightBack’s fixed monthly subscription, which entitles its members to three mystery holidays a year. 

Consumers like the flexibility of free cancellations but are also attracted to deals that give them more. Embrace new pricing models or be left with squeezed margins and unsecured bookings.

Stay connected everywhere

From the moment a prospective customer touches your brand, you’re exposed to a continuous stream of data about them – their preferences, frustrations and transactions before, during and after they travel.

In the post-pandemic era, travel businesses will act on that rich data to grow repeat bookings, increase ancillary sales, improve the customer experience, and reduce costs.

Hotel apps give direct access to rooms, allow guests to adjust the temperature before they arrive and instantly stream their favourite shows. Similar services are provided for rental cars and managing appliances and security remotely back home. 

There’s a battle for data as OTAs maintain direct interactions with customers rather than giving away control to travel operators.

Find ways to regularly collect implicit and explicit customer data and use that data to create and personalise valuable experiences.

Continuously mining and acting on data enables travel companies to stay connected with their customers everywhere.

Use digital to be human

Travel companies are increasingly turning to technology to support and add value to their products and services.

Travel the world and beyond

This sounds like a dream now with everything going on about the pandemic, but as vaccinations roll out and the world gradually reopens to physical business meetings and business to business meetings, You will need to get out and meet your potential suppliers and create new leads. 

Technology is already deeply embedded within our lives and our industry. Post-pandemic tourism is less about simply ‘doing digital’ but harnessing it more smartly to deliver rich experiences for travelers and greater performance for travel businesses.

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