For the past few years, the travel industry has evolved significantly due to the steadily increasing number of travelers. The amount of passengers boarded by the airline industry has risen from 2.000 million in 2004 to 4.590 million in 2019. At the same time, those customers have become more demanding than ever, in terms of their preferences, desires, needs, and expectations.
But the forecast of 2020 says that something major is going to happen: Generation Z will be worth 200€ billion to the travel and hospitality industry. Precisely this is a future business opportunity that no business-entity can afford to miss. However, those new customers come with even higher standards and quality criteria, where personalized CX is not a demand, but an expectation. In that sense, the companies operating in the travel sector must be ready to provide customized offers, pricing lists, messages, and services.
How to make sure that we satisfy such challenging clients? Well, the following list of 5 future business trends in the travel industry will give you insights and ideas on how to enhance business operations, and gain competitive advantage.
No matter if we have a big corporation, a medium-sized private company, or a small startup, data analysis is always of help. Predictive analytics enables us to manage and govern our organization through data-driven decision-making, planning, and risk management.
Advanced analytics does not only allow us to identify trends in the traveler's tastes and preferences and predict future shifts in those. It also makes it easy to recognize each client's own desires and needs and is a primary tool for CX customization. It makes it possible for businesses to offer new experiences, better products, improved services, and a more personal approach in their marketing campaigns and customer service.
So, when we provide a tailored experience, we instantly gain a competitive edge.
Artificial intelligence offers numerous benefits for both businesses and clients.
It gives the companies great opportunities for optimization of costs and operations, by enabling smart automation and less human capital usage. Contrary to many speculations, this is a positive factor because AI is precise, quick, complex, accurate, and with a lower error rate than humans. That is why it is highly suitable for routine tasks, while human employees will have more time to build relationships with the clients.
On the other hand, AI is enhancing the CX due to the fact that travelers can pass through routine checks quickly and conveniently, as at the same time they are being delighted with a personal approach and personalized service.
For example, there are multiple AI opportunities when it comes to airline companies and airport services. Biometric identification methods, such as facial and fingerprint recognition make going through passport control and boarding as easy as unlocking your phone: no documents, no queues, no lost time. This improves the customer experience by shortening the waiting-time, enhancing the convenience and granting access to both personalized and associated services.
Another example of AI in the travel industry is the integration of automated chatbots for customer support. Such emerging technologies ease the clients by instantly answering questions and quickly reacting to arisen problems, as well as connecting them to human employees in customer support.
It may sound surprising, but in the next 2 years, blockchain is expected to become a key asset for every company operating in the travel industry.
The integration of blockchain-based software enables secure and transparent data transactions between the company and third-party travel agencies, airport systems, airline enterprises, hotels, and other travel-related organizations. As a result, it allows businesses to optimize their operations and provide better high-quality services. After all, this is what enhances the customer experience.
This future business trend has been growing tremendously for the past 3 years, but in 2020 it is expected to reach a peak.
Smartphones and mobile services are an essential part of Generation Z's lives. Those customers have grown up with the internet and social media, as the smartphone is an irreplaceable every-day tool, which not only facilitates communication, but also provides entertainment, and boosts education and productivity.
Even though mobile devices have become a mainstream trend, travel companies have the great opportunity to take advantage of the fact that they are vital to the travelers. The businesses can elevate this trend, and with the help of IoT, convert it into a tool for easy customization and personalization of services. What is more, the customers will be able to do everything through their mobile devices in real-time: from booking flight tickets to having access to particular personalized services, such as private waiting lounges at the airport.
The clients benefit from a more convenient travel experience because all the tools they need for a particular trip are already in their smartphone. All that without worrying if they forgot to arrange anything beforehand: everything is already in their pocket.
Another future business trend in the travel industry is the bleisure experience: combining leisure and business services in one. This new term has appeared due to the increasing number of people who travel for business, but desire time for recreation, entertainment and leisure.
By providing bleisure experience, travel companies can combine their best practices and offer improved services. This will result in optimized operations, higher clients' satisfaction, competitive advantage, better positioning on the market, and expanded customer base.
What is more, if the business entities provide their clients with the opportunity to customize their bleisure experience, they will attract new customer segments, including Gen Z. This creates a great business opportunity for every airline, hotel, and third party agency.
Being able to satisfy your customer needs and wants is not an easy job, especially when the clients become more and more demanding. However, the above-mentioned future business trends help the businesses to thrive in their performance and keep their competitive edge.