The immediate, highly personalised interactions of technology brands like Amazon, Apple and Facebook have set a new benchmark for customer expectations across all industries, including travel, powering individual experiences that are fully informed by the context of a consumer’s history of behaviours, choices and purchases. Meeting these new expectations remains a top concern for many corporate executives, which is why BLITZ has created a report to help their travel clients (such as Disney, Hilton, Aruba and Princess Cruises) understand the impact technology has had, and continues to have on the sector, and what travel brands can do to meet new consumer expectations when it comes to technology. The digital-led agency has released a new report revealing the impact that technology has had on consumer travel, their unmet needs, and what travel brands must do to meet these new expectations. BLITZ and sister agency AMP surveyed US travellers between the ages of 18 and 55 who had taken a leisure trip within the past year.
The survey and report; “Targeting Moments of Need in the New Travel Landscape,” revealed the changing attitudes of travellers beginning with what inspires them to travel, how they plan and book trips, their experiences at the destinations and their customer-service needs. Peter Apple, VP of Strategy at BLITZ, said: “Our research shows people are overwhelmed by the trip planning process but by and large they enjoy it. They also know they would be happier being a little more spontaneous when away from home. So a booking engine that can behave like a simplifier, or a destination that can prompt spontaneity, will drive better business. To compete in this new travel landscape, brand marketers will need to operate their brands as services.”
You can download and absorb the full report yourselves right HERE. However, some of the key findings and emerging trends in the report include:
Converting selfies into sales. 84% of millennials are likely to plan trips based on someone else’s vacation updates and photos in social media. Marketers can create greater brand affinity and distinction by realising how to leverage social channels differently from other marketing channels.
Travel brands must simplify the whole process. Seventy-two percent of respondents said they feel overwhelmed when planning a trip. Much of their time is devoted to finding the best deals. Booking engines have an opportunity to provide consumers with time-saving experiences and better management of multiple-trip components. Niche providers are using simple, conversational interfaces.
Brands must balance tech with a human touch. Even in a connected world, travellers want to connect in person when they need help. Airlines, hotels and tourist attractions shouldn’t be too quick to replace service personnel with digital kiosks. Instead, they must carefully select the right moments for digital interactions. For instance, 73% of travellers said they would be willing or very willing to receive text messages about unplanned excursions, dinners and other experiences while on vacation.