Your target customers have evolved – they’re no longer just accepting what travel brands give them.
Instead, they’re the ones dictating your product development, marketing strategies and terms of engagement. It’s time you evolved too.
Technology in travel is gaining momentum directly proportional to the rate of growing sophistication in the way that consumers view and use technology. You need a mind shift, a slight adjustment in how you apply your expertise and investment in travel tech.
Portrait of a modern traveller
- They have a higher dispensable income.
- They are weary of impersonal, generic treatment.
- They value experience over stuff.
- They are strapped for time.
- They are tech savvy.
With more cash than time to waste, they’re willing to pay extra for service that meets their needs or exceeds expectations. They appreciate the convenience of a one-stop shop they can trust to accommodate every possible service requirement before, during and after travel. Purchasing travel with a holistic approach holds the most appeal.
Modern travellers desire an immersive experience. Having tried the DIY route to achieve that, their affinity with tech makes them amenable to being empowered online in addition to benefitting from your travel and destination expertise, resources and trade relationships.
It goes without saying that they’re active on social media and they consume other products and services on their mobile devices. They’re reassured by companies that incorporate tech into their service, the assumption being that a company’s grasp of sophisticated tech is synonymous with sophistication itself.
The tech geeks are smiling
The penetration of mobile internet is continuously increasing, and it is suggested in 2017 more than 63,4% will access internet via the mobile.
Joris van der Spek
In other words, don’t shrug your shoulders sheepishly and hand your client wads of paper when they come to you with an expectation of tech-based services. The only choice you have is to evolve to instill confidence in your clients
How can you present those immersive experiences during the planning and purchasing stages? Spare a thought for travellers weary of the robotic treatment they get from travel companies, left to their own devices after settling the bill and receiving their travel vouchers – your brand must project altruism.
When travel professionals pool resources, expertise and efforts to ease their clients along, the mutual long-term benefits are clear. Happy clients are repeat clients. So, what can you do to collaborate with trade partners? One thing you can do is to centralise content to support each other better – technology enables access and provides tools you can use to incorporate content more easily into marketing and sales campaigns, making it easier for the trade to sell travel and for your clients to buy travel.
Today’s travelers demand flexibility, protection and real-time access to travel providers in order to ensure a seamless experience.
How tech responds to travel needs
From a B2B perspective, tech responds most readily to the imperative for travel agents to be on board while agents, in turn, need tour operators and DMCs on board, and vice versa. Also, operators want product suppliers on board; and everyone needs destinations and local communities involved too. Where and how? The space for engagement and collaboration is in the cloud, in the tech space.
The cloud hooks travel professionals up with simplified content management and distribution. With relevant, fresh content stored centrally in the cloud, everybody wins. High-resolution imagery shared simply via URL link tells product stories that are easily constructed, repurposed and efficiently promoted online. Time saved is time earned, which you can use to attend to your clients.
You can get your content working harder by sharing it to your website through widgets and APIs in order to bring consistency across your marketing and sales channels – your collaborators are able to replicate this on their own websites.
All the fabulous content in the world has zero impact if your distribution is limited to printed catalogues, itineraries and proposals, emails with massive file sharing requests, gigantic image libraries. That’s old school and it ain’t cool. Don’t get me started on all the wasted paper from printing multiple tour proposals for each client; and those glossy, expensive catalogues with sample itineraries priced on expired specials and seasonal rates just lying around who-knows-where… Travellers care about green issues; they don’t care for old news.
Your target customers have a huge appetite for mobile usage and user-friendly UX across all devices – app culture has infiltrated the travel game. This kind of technology enhances client engagement with your brand and their travel experience.
Mobile web is a strong access point for quick searches and transactions, while apps are ideal for repeat engagement with returning customers.
Consider the existing Apps popular among consumers, like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger: social messaging can be an extension of customer service as a way to reassure clients, offering them sustained, direct access to their consultant.
What if you could give them all they need on a handy app? Being able to access the following travel info on their phones would be a big plus:
- dining and entertainment
- activities, excursions and day tours
There are apps for everything – at Wetu too! Such is the pervasive nature of technology in travel currently that its adoption is more of a must-have than a nice-to-have. It’s too integral to the seamless, comprehensive travel buying experience that travellers want and tech can facilitate.