Major Travel Industry Trends In 2019
Whether you’re taking off, sailing away or hopping into the car, travel brings the whole world closer. And it has never been easier to cross the globe, with travel becoming affordable. This not only benefits people wanting to travel, but it also means that there are more jobs available in the travel and tourism sector. Here are some fresh trends that are emerging in 2019.
1. Technology rules
One of the biggest emerging trends and one that will continue to evolve is technology. The Internet of Things (IoT) and its role in technology are only going to continue to grow, especially as devices become smarter and more efficient.
Some examples we have already seen in the travel industry include hotel apps on smartphones that allow customers to change the air conditioning settings, lights and even showers from their phones. Even checking in at airports is becoming smarter, with self-check-in and bag drop more common, and even the opportunity to install sensors into luggage cases to alert owners when they’re arriving on the baggage claim conveyor belt being created.
On top of this, of course, there’s recognition software to help with customs and immigration, boarding passes on smart devices, and even facial recognition or fingerprints being used in hotels rather than key cards.
Finally, in the technology space, artificial intelligence is taking a stronger hold. While the idea of chatbots may sound frightening, their ability to deal with problems or queries from customers almost immediately is actually quite exciting. AI also has the ability to continuously learn from interactions from customers, meaning each and every time the chatbot assists someone, it will become faster and more efficient for the next.
What does this really mean? Well, for online travel providers, data represents a key strategic differentiator as it can be used to drive business decisions such as identifying potential new properties, optimizing pricing or inventories, which in turn, results in increases revenue and customer loyalty.
2. Personalization of travel
According to reports, almost 90% of travelers no longer want the standard traveling experience. They now want a personalized approach. In fact, it has become expected rather than extraordinary. This goes further than a personalized itinerary and hotel room greeting. It means personalized messaging for clients, personalized service for accommodating pets on flights, if necessary, exclusive personalized benefits by airlines, hotels, and even tour operators, and even personalized websites for different types of customers – whether corporate or leisure.
Contributing to this is the rise of big data. Almost all successful companies, especially the big ones, are employing their own data collection techniques. Gathering this data means it’s much easier to personalize experiences, and many travel companies use the information to ensure customers are given specific offerings.
3. Last-minute bookings
The ability to book flights and accommodation last minute has meant people are becoming much more spontaneous when it comes to their travel plans. According to TrekkSoft Data, bookings for tours are generally made within two weeks of the activity and on mobile. While this does make it difficult for tour operators to plan ahead, especially with resources and staff, it does ensure there’s loads of flexibility for travelers.
Further, online bookings are growing at an exponential rate. Experts are predicting that within the next decade, revenue in online travel booking will top 11.5 trillion US dollars. Today, more than 50% of reservations are made online, including accommodation, flights, and tours. This gives travelers a lot more choices and much more flexibility when booking.
4. New experiences, new destinations
Travelers are seeking new experiences and are longing to travel to new destinations. This is especially becoming more common among millennials.
Amongst the most popular new experiences are ecological tours and hotels. These can be rare educational experiences that share unique and local knowledge of the area and how to help protect it. It also includes ecological projects that help fund restoration including forest or animal habitats, because travelers like to know they’re doing something good.
This also stretches to zero or low-waste restaurants seeing a spike in customers, and travelers are starting to take notice of hotels that are looking to reduce waste, especially when it comes to those lavish breakfast buffets. In fact, the Langham London now has a rapid composting system that turns leftovers into water. As travelers become much more conscious of the environment and the impact travel can have on the future of the planet, they’re much more likely to book at a hotel or use a tour company that is aware of and supports the local environment.
Finally, travelers are hoping to see as much of their destination as possible. They want the local experience; to be immersed in the local culture—eating where the locals eat and going where the locals go.
While the trends have changed over the years, what hasn’t changed is everyone’s love for adventure and seeing the world. Whether they’re traveling for business or pleasure, alone or with family, travelers love to see new destinations and experience the world. The love of travel hasn’t changed, merely the process.