Prepare for ‘book now’ on Instagram! It’s the social platform taking travel by storm | Travel Industry News & Conferences – EyeforTravel

When Instagram launched back in 2010, it seemed like a great idea. By September 2011 it had 10m users and it wasn’t long before Facebook had spotted this fast-growing visually driven opportunity. By April 2012, Instagram had been drawn into the Facebook-fold and has been pretty unstoppable ever since.

According to EyeforTravel recent research, the fast-growing social platform has 400 million monthly users, up by around 25% on the previous year. Another stand out number of the research is that 60% of travel companies today are including Instagram in their marketing mix, putting it behind only Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and LinkedIn.

60% include Instagram in their marketing mix

95% the number of marketers using Facebook

75% of brands incorporate social content directly onto their brand website

Source: EyeforTravel

Given how much travellers love to take snaps and how shareable Instagram had made this, not to Facebook’s vested interest, this isn’t surprising.  However, there are some interesting developments on the horizon. According to James Quarles, Global Head of Business and Brand Development at Instagram: “Inspiring people to ‘Book Now’ on Instagram is already being adopted by the industry, including major hotel brands and airlines.”

The results, he adds, “are promising”.

Battling it out for marketing dollars

While it comes as no surprise that Facebook is the clear winner in the battle for marketing dollars (95% of marketers today use it), a number of newer networks are making inroads – Pinterest, Vimeo, Foursquare and Tumblr all make the top 10.

“Imagery is a critical part of the travel decision-making process and our research, which shows the rise of a number of sites specialising in photos and video, bears this out,” says Alex Hadwick, head of research at EyeforTravel.

How brands are spending their marketing dollars

Looking ahead, this points to growing opportunities for travel companies to engage in more direct marketing to consumers through social media channels. “They are also now able to close the loop, with several of these sites adding ‘buy buttons’ that can redirect to a brand’s booking pages,” says Hadwick.

The incorporation of travel companies onto social media is also happening in reverse, with brands placing social media directly onto their brand websites. Over three-quarters of those surveyed report that they incorporate social media content onto their websites already, and nearly half host blogs and videos.

Source: Prepare for ‘book now’ on Instagram! It’s the social platform taking travel by storm | Travel Industry News & Conferences – EyeforTravel

What Financial Marketers Can Learn From the Travel Industry

The travel industry has proven how access to individual transaction-level data can enable highly contextual marketing activities, resulting in consumer loyalty, engagement and market growth. Can the banking industry follow the same model?

According to a report from Forbes Insights, organizations that are “leaders” in data-driven marketing report far higher levels of customer engagement and market growth than their “laggard” counterparts. In fact, leaders are three times more likely than laggards to say they have achieved competitive advantage in customer engagement/loyalty (74% vs. 24%) and almost three times more likely to have increased revenues (55% vs. 20%). Leaders in data-driven marketing are also more than six times more likely than laggards to report achieving competitive advantage in increasing profitability (45% vs. 7%) and five times more likely to have succeeded in customer retention (74% vs. 13%).

The report, Data Driven and Digitally Savvy: Data Driven and Digitally Savvy: The Rise of the New Marketing Organization , found widespread agreement that data-driven marketing is crucial to success in a hyper-competitive global economy. “Effective data-driven marketing draws on resources from across the enterprise, not a single department,” says Bruce Rogers, Chief Insights Officer and head of the CMO Practice for Forbes Media. “And without data, marketing is not based on customer intelligence.”

The Forbes study also found that the travel industry was a clear leader in achieving competitive advantage through data-driven marketing. Sixty-seven percent of travel executives said they have achieved a competitive advantage in customer engagement/loyalty, 56% in new customers and 59% in customer satisfaction.

The question is, can financial marketers learn from the travel industry?

Advancements in technology — specifically the mobile device — and in data analytics greatly enhance the ability for all firms to connect with consumers. Similar to the banking industry, the travel and hospitality industry was forced into digital transformation because of disruption that initially took place almost two decades ago.

This transformation continued as new digital only players competed with traditional travel firms. These disruptors that set consumer expectation ranged from Expedia, a full service booking agency that entered the marketplace 20 years ago, to the more recent phenomena in car service, Uber and lodging with Airbnb.

The Digital Revolution Began 20 Years Ago

Expedia entered the marketplace in 1996 offering online travel options to consumers. The transparency and online price comparison tools yielded an overwhelming customer acceptance to this new way of booking travel. Consumers now had the ability to book their travel online with all information a travel agent had at their own fingertips.

In November 1996, a Wall Street Journal ad announcing Expedia hit the streets. There was little notice from the travel industry since travel agents around the world did not think online, self-serve booking would take away any of their direct business. Within 4 months after introduction, Expedia was already booking $1 million a week in travel revenue. Today, the digital transformation continues with mobile usage.

Mobile Enables On-the-Go Booking

Depsite the small screens of smart phones, mobile adoption for booking continues to be on the rise. In a recent analysis by eMarketer, online travel bookings are decreasing while mobile bookings continue to rise. In 2016, 51.8% of all digital bookings will take place on a mobile device, which is up from 43.8% for 2015. In fact, eMarketer has had to continue to adjust mobile usage predictions upwards because the travel industry continues to make self-service booking swift and easy on the mobile device. A study by Expedia similarly found that there were 156 million US consumers that engage with digital travel content and 90% of monthly travellers do so on their smartphone or tablet.

Mirroring the challenges found in the banking industry, the travel industry was faced with the challenge of effectively mining essential data points from multiple silos within their organization and across product lines. The airlines, car companies, lodging firms and cruise lines were tasked to determine a means of consolidating their data across bookings, payments, loyalty programs, operations, complaints, & social media.

Not only were these firms needing this insight internally, they needed to make it available to the consumer as well — on their smartphone. For example, a typical airlines app contains loyalty information (rewards data), reservations — past, present and future (bookings), a view of payments (finance), boarding passes (travel operations) and provides the option of real-time alerts regarding flight status. This data is being effectively pulled from disparate systems, with the mobile device being the critical delivery channel for the traveller.

Keys to Digital Transformation Success

The Selligent Trend Report, Digital Transformation in the Travel Industry, commends the travel industry stating, “Since travel vendors have staked out their digital real estate, networked their owned properties across online channels as well as partner sites, and built a loyal customer base, they are perfectly positioned for the next wave of change — big data combined with intelligent analytics.”

Integrated digital optimization that is heavily reliant on data and analytics is a must to effectively engage the customer. Banks can learn from the digital transformational success of the travel industry as the challenges travel faced are very similar. Let’s take a rearview look at the digital struggles travel organizations were facing 5 years ago, according to Aditi report, What’s Keeping the CEOs of Hospitality Companies Awake at Night.

  • The mobile app not being a priority
  • Old technology and platforms hindering transformation
  • Lack of a single view to the customer

The Aditi report highlighted 3 power moves working together as attributes for digital transformation success:

1. Business Transformation — Embracing new technologies by transitioning from physical to digital services for travellers.

2. Customer Experience — realizing the value of the travelers personal data across all touch points, to help build consistent and personalized experience throughout their journey by using a predictive analytics approach and knowledge from social channels.

3. Digitizing Operations — building digital products that include agility in the platform build to assist with easy rollout of new products and ideas

The Glistening Diamond in the Big Data Rough

When we take a look at what is important to the traveller, it is similar to what is wanted by the banking consumer. The compelling take away is that the consumer is crystal clear in letting us know exactly how to better engage with them. Consumers in both industries want their business partners to know them, to look out for them and to reward them.

The glistening diamond in the big data rough is to connect with customers on an individual, real-time and contextual basis. This requires sifting meticulously through internal and external big data to grab the relevant insights. The missing link is then to use these insights to build the best consumer experience.

Source: What Financial Marketers Can Learn From the Travel Industry

Travel Marketing Budgets 2016: 5 Must-Watch Digital Trends [Infographic]

 Just as travelers plan their trips to make the most of their stays, travel marketing experts need to plan their digital budgets and strategies to make the most of their spend. But with a new year come new choices, channels, and chances for online success.

To make the best digital decisions, travel marketers need to know the top trends, tech, and tactics that will matter to marketing in 2016. Rather than track down all of this data, your ticket to the latest travel insights is a fact-packed infographic created by MDG Advertising called Travel Marketing Budgets 2016: 5 Must-Watch Trends.

It pinpoints the five key strategies for making the most of your travel marketing budget and business over the next 12 months. To arrive at the right budget decisions, check out this informative infographic.

1. Spend on Your Website

Investing in your website is one of the wisest decisions you can make. With more and more people looking and booking on travel brand websites than third-party sites, your website delivers the first impression of your travel brand. And an optimized, user-friendly website can create a lasting impression and drive visitors to book without a second thought. The infographic shows:67% of travellers think it’s simpler to book on a travel brand website than a third-party site.

Almost two-thirds of travellers think it’s less expensive to book on a travel brand website.

Top Takeaway: To make the most of this mind-set, view your website as an important digital hub that gives online users everything they want and need.

2. Optimize MobileMobile has become a must in people’s lives, especially when researching and reserving travel. In 2016, even more travellers will be searching for travel online. According to the infographic, you can expect: 49% increase in mobile search for hotels and cruises. 47% rise in mobile search for car rentals and tours and attractions.

Top Takeaway: To serve this mobile market, make sure that all of your digital offerings, experiences, and communications are optimized for every mobile device.

3. Expect to Welcome More Millennials

Millennials already make up 40% of leisure travellers who book travel online. In 2016, their share of both the business and personal travel market will increase even more. To target these young adults, it’s essential to understand that Millennials have specific travel tendencies, such as:  They frequently book travel and share their experiences on mobile devices and digital platforms.

They tend to extend and blend business trips into personal vacations.

They spend more each day on trips than other age groups.

Top Takeaway: Use these Millennial insights to develop your digital properties and target your online messages.

4. Revisit Reviews

In 2016, online reviews and review sites will matter more than ever to travellers. According to the infographic:64% of travellers visit travel review sites like TripAdvisor for vacation ideas.

Almost half of travellers have been compelled to write a review after a travel experience.

Top Takeaway: Since these reviews are so important, travel brands need to regularly revisit and review all guest reviews to learn what they liked and lacked in their experiences.

5. Keep Your Eye on Video

Digital video is becoming more and more popular with travellers, especially on social networks. The infographic reveals these stunning statistics:

Top Takeaway: In 2016, video is a vital investment that must be incorporated with social media to reach and resonate with travellers.

 

Source: Travel Marketing Budgets 2016: 5 Must-Watch Digital Trends [Infographic]

International tourist arrivals up 4% reach a record 1.2 billion in 2015

International tourist arrivals grew by 4.4% in 2015 to reach a total of 1,184 million in 2015, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. Some 50 million more tourists (overnight visitors) travelled to international destinations around the world last year as compared to 2014. 

2015 marks the 6th consecutive year of above-average growth, with international arrivals increasing by 4% or more every year since the post-crisis year of 2010.

“International tourism reached new heights in 2015. The robust performance of the sector is contributing to economic growth and job creation in many parts of the world. It is thus critical for countries to promote policies that foster the continued growth of tourism, including travel facilitation, human resources development and sustainability” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.

Demand was strong overall, though with mixed results across individual destinations due to unusually strong exchange rate fluctuations, the drop in oil prices and other commodities which increased disposable income in importing countries but weakened demand in exporters, as well as increased safety and security concerns.

“2015 results were influenced by exchange rates, oil prices and natural and manmade crises in many parts of the world. As the current environment highlights in a particular manner the issues of safety and security, we should recall that tourism development greatly depends upon our collective capacity to promote safe, secure and seamless travel. In this respect, UNWTO urges governments to include tourism administrations in their national security planning, structures and procedures, not only to ensure that the sector’s exposure to threats is minimised but also to maximise the sector’s ability to support security and facilitation, as seamless and safe travel can and should go hand in hand”, added Mr Rifai.

Growth in advanced economy destinations (+5%) exceeded that of emerging economies (+4%), boosted by the solid results of Europe (+5%).

By region, Europe, the Americas and Asia and the Pacific all recorded around 5% growth in 2015. Arrivals to the Middle East increased by 3% while in Africa, limited data available, points to an estimated 3% decrease, mostly due to weak results in North Africa, which accounts for over one third of arrivals in the region.

arrivals2016_en_shared.jpg

Positive prospects for 2016

Results from the UNWTO Confidence Index remain largely positive for 2016, though at a slightly lower level as compared to  the previous two years. Based on the current trend and this outlook, UNWTO projects international tourist arrivals to grow by 4% worldwide in 2016.

By region, growth is expected to be stronger in Asia and the Pacific (+4% to +5%) and the Americas (+4% to +5%), followed by Europe (+3.5% to +4.5%). The projections for Africa (+2% to 5%) and the Middle East (+2% to +5%) are positive, though with a larger degree of uncertainty and volatility.

2015 Regional Results

Europe (+5%) led growth in absolute and relative terms supported by a weaker euro vis-à-vis the US dollar and other main currencies. Arrivals reached 609 million, or 29 million more than in 2014. Central and Eastern Europe (+6%) rebounded from last year’s decrease in arrivals. Northern Europe (+6%), Southern Mediterranean Europe (+5%) and Western Europe (+4%) also recorded sound results, especially considering the many mature destinations they comprise.

Asia and the Pacific (+5%) recorded 13 million more international tourist arrivals last year to reach 277 million, with uneven results across destinations. Oceania (+7%) and South-East Asia (+5%) led growth, while South Asia and in North-East Asia recorded an increase of 4%.

International tourist arrivals in the Americas (+5%) grew 9 million to reach 191 million, consolidating the strong results of 2014. The appreciation of the US dollar stimulated outbound travel from the United States, benefiting the Caribbean and Central America, both recording 7% growth. Results in South America and North America (both at +4%) were close to the average.

International tourist arrivals in the Middle East grew by an estimated 3% to a total of 54 million, consolidating the recovery initiated in 2014.

Limited available data for Africa points to a 3% decrease in international arrivals, reaching a total of 53 million. In North Africa arrivals declined by 8% and in Sub-Saharan Africa by 1%, though the latter returned to positive growth in the second half of the year. (Results for both Africa and Middle East should be read with caution as it is based on limited available data)

China, the USA and the UK lead outbound travel growth in 2015

A few leading source markets have driven tourism expenditure in 2015 supported by a strong currency and economy.

Among the world’s top source markets, China, with double-digit growth in expenditure every year since 2004, continues to lead global outbound travel, benefitting Asian destinations such as Japan and Thailand, as well as the United States and various European destinations.

By contrast, expenditure from the previously very dynamic source markets of the Russian Federation and Brazil declined significantly, reflecting the economic constraints in both countries and the depreciation of the rouble and the real against virtually all other currencies.

As for the traditional advanced economy source markets, expenditure from the United States (+9%), the world’s second largest source market, and the United Kingdom (+6%) was boosted by a strong currency and rebounding economy. Spending from Germany, Italy and Australia grew at a slower rate (all at +2%), while demand from Canada and France was rather weak.

unwto_top_tourism_spenders_en_april_2015_small

TripAdvisor Reveals Top Travel Trends for 2016 According to Annual TripBarometer Study

Trip AdvisorOn 15th December TripAdvisor today announced the results of their TripBarometer study, the world’s largest accommodation and traveller survey, highlighting key travel trends for 2016.

Conducted on behalf of TripAdvisor by independent research firm Ipsos, the TripBarometer study is the analysis of more than 44,000 survey responses from travellers and the hotel sector worldwide. The TripBarometer “2016 Travel Trends” report presents a snapshot of the travel landscape for 2016, revealing US domestic and global travel trends.

“This year’s TripBarometer shows that U.S. travellers continue to recognize the importance of treating themselves to travel,” said Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer, TripAdvisor. “With one third of survey respondents planning to spend more this year, we expect to see even more travellers checking both domestic and international destinations off of their wish lists.”

U.S. Travel Trends of 2016

Seventy-eight percent of U.S. travellers plan to spend more or the same in 2016, which is the third largest annual travel budget among countries globally:

Top 10 Markets that Intend to Spend the Most in 2016

(average of all countries after conversion into USD)

1 Australia $ 10,900
2 Switzerland $ 10,100
3 United States $ 8,400
4 United Kingdom $ 8,300
5 New Zealand $ 8,000
6 Canada $ 6,500
7 Austria $ 6,400
8 Germany $ 6,300
9 France $ 6,000
10 Argentina $ 5,900

Top Reasons U.S. Travellers Will Spend More on Travel in 2016

  • Because they/their family deserves it (46%)
  • Going somewhere on their wish list (46%)
  • Going on more long trips (38%)
  • Longer length of trips (34%)

U.S. Baby Boomers plan to spend $10,600 on travel in 2016, twice as much as Millennials ($5,300). This is higher than the global averages – $8,700 and $2,900, respectively.

Ninety-six percent of U.S. travellers are planning a domestic trip in 2016 compared to the global average of 90 percent. Seventy-two percent are planning an international trip, which is slightly lower than the global average of 85 percent.Top Reasons U.S.

Respondents Choose Travel Destinations

  • Culture of the destination (50%)
  • Recommendations from family and friends (36%)
  • Events (34%)
  • Special offers/packages at hotel or accommodation (27%)

When selecting accommodations, cost is the key consideration for travellers in the U.S. – 94 percent of respondents named price as the most important factor when booking the accommodation for their last trip. Accommodation ratings (90%), TripAdvisor reviews (89%), proximity to attractions (86%) and dining options (79%) also ranked high on the list.

Germans, on the other hand, are more likely to find travel inspiration from their favourite documentary with 26 per cent revealing they have chosen to visit a destination simply after seeing it on screen.

Americans and New Zealanders are far more practical, however, choosing their final getaway locations in accordance with events they have to attend.

U.S. Traveller Quirks

The Top 5 Things U.S. Travellers Won’t Leave Home Without

  • Toiletries (77%)
  • Smartphone (74%)
  • Camera (57%)
  • Clothing for special occasions (56%)
  • Adaptor (51%)

U.S. travellers rank as the fourth most “germophobic” in the world, with 37 percent listing hand sanitizer as a travel essential, compared to 23 percent globally. They value their beauty rest as well – 13 percent bring their own pillow, higher than the global average of six percent.  37 per cent of British survey participants named their must-have travel essential as an e-book.

Meanwhile, Indonesian, Argentinian, Malaysian, Chinese and Mexican travellers are the top five nationalities most likely to pack an extra suitcase when they take a trip – likely, to ensure they have plenty of space to transport their shopping haul.

And though Indonesians may be most likely to be spotted sporting wearable technology, 12 per cent of Chinese travellers revealed they were also careful not to leave home without it.

But only two per cent of Italians would be caught trying out the tech trend.

Amenity Deal Breakers

Certain amenities will make or break a hotel’s chances of earning a booking. U.S. travellers expect more for less, and will book elsewhere if an accommodation does not offer:

  • Air-conditioning (70%)
  • In-room Wi-Fi (42%)
  • Parking (38%)
  • Safe deposit (25%)
  • Breakfast (24%)

A third of all Thai, Indonesian and Indian travellers say that they are planning to try an adventure holiday for the first time in 2016, while one in six Indian millennials refuse to book a hotel without gym facilities.

And the most frequent flyers? Ten per cent of all jet-setting Swiss travellers polled revealed that they were planning on taking more than 10 international trips in the next year, making them the most likely nationality to accrue some major frequent flyer points.

But don’t expect them to be using those miles to visit family members abroad.

New Zealanders are the most likely to fly across an ocean to visit family, with 30 per cent saying they’d choose a destination to spend time with their next of kin.

In contrast, Russian, Austrians and Thai are the least likely to do so. Only four per cent said they’d select a destination for this reason.

TripAdvisor summaries the report into 6 key travel trends:

Trend #1 – Seeking new experiences

In the coming year, travelers of all ages will seek out things they haven’t tried before, from cruises to solo travel and more.

  • Globally, 69% of travelers plan to try something new in 2016.
  • 1 in 5 global travelers said they would try a cruise for the first time next year.
  • 17% will try solo travel for the first time in 2016; 15% will try adventure travel for the first time.

Trend #2 – Spending more because it’s “worth it”

Worldwide, travelers are open to spending more in 2016 than they have in the past—and not just because of rising costs.

  • 1 in 3 travelers (33%) are planning to spend more on travel in 2016 than they did the previous year.
  • Among those who plan to increase their travel budget, 49% said they will do so because “because I or my family deserve it.”
  • 31% said they would spend more on travel because “it’s important for my health and well-being.”

Trend #3 – Choosing destinations based on culture, special offers

Today’s travelers choose destinations for a number of reasons, including special offers from accommodations.

  • Globally, 47% of travelers say they have visited a destination because of the culture and people of the specific country.
  • 1 in 5 travelers (21%) have chosen a destination because a hotel had a special offer or package.
  • “TV tourism” is on the rise: 1 in 5 global travelers have visited a destination because they saw it on a TV show.

Trend #4 – Staying cool and connected

Among the amenities that travelers will look for when they book an accommodation in 2016, air conditioning and WiFi stand out.

  • Globally, 63% of travelers said air conditioning is a must-have when choosing a place to stay. That makes it more of a deal-breaker than breakfast (40%) or a swimming pool (26%).
  • 46% said free in-room WiFi is a must-have amenity—meaning that, if an accommodation did not provide it, they would look elsewhere.
  • 26% of travelers said that they require an accommodation that has super-fast WiFi; 11% are willing to pay extra for this service.

Trend #5 – Rising room rates (and optimism)

Many accommodations plan to raise their room rates next year, while the majority of hoteliers say they’re optimistic about profitability in 2016.

  • Nearly half of hoteliers globally plan to increase room rates in 2016 (47%).
  • Most accommodations are increasing rates to compensate for increased overhead costs (65%), although more than a third are increasing rates because of recently completed renovations (37%) or because of increased demand (35%).
  • 3 in 4 business owners are optimistic about profitability in 2016. The majority of those who are optimistic say it’s because of local events and conferences taking place in their markets next year (65%).
  • 91% of hoteliers see increasing direct bookings as key for the future of their business.

Trend #6 – Managing reputations online

Online presence remains important: In 2016, businesses will be keeping a close eye on what people are saying about them on the web.

  • 93% of hoteliers said that online traveler reviews are important for the future of their business.
  • Online reputation management is still the biggest area of investment for accommodation owners in 2016, with 59% investing more in this area than they did the previous year.

For additional information about the TripBarometer, please visit: tripadvisor to download the global report.

Source: TripAdvisor Reveals Top Travel Trends for 2016 According to Annual TripBarometer Study Nasdaq:TRIP

Travel trade leads the way in ‘moment’ marketing

The travel industry is leading the way in the new marketing buzzword, ‘moment’ marketing, according to research.

A recent Warc and Deloitte 2016 Toolkit highlighted ‘moment’ marketing – where data and technology are used to identify brief marketing opportunities – as the number one trend for next year.

And moment marketing firm TVTY claims the travel sector is already using the most sophisticated ‘moment’ marketing strategies.

Online ‘moment’ marketing campaigns are triggered by offline events including sport, TV programmes, adverts, financial events and the weather.  TVTY says it’s about connecting with people at the key moment when they reach for their phone or laptop or use social media.

Its research found that 64% of digital marketers in the travel industry were going to allocate more budget to moment marketing in 2016.It also found 29% use both their own TV and competitor’s advertising to trigger campaigns and 43% use travel metrics (such as public transport delays) to launch ‘moment’ digital campaigns.

Antoine de Kermel, UK MD of  TVTY, said: “Travel is a highly competitive space online. There is a lot of innovation in digital marketing, and travel has been an early adopter of moment marketing. We see travel marketers using a lot of triggers to target consumers, but, as you might expect, weather is a very popular trigger.

“People are much more likely to book a getaway when the weather suddenly turns bad, or when another transport delay drives commuters to pack their bags for a carefree week in Barbados.”

An interesting trend we’re seeing, specifically from travel companies, is a desire to use new sources of data – like flight delays – as a trigger for digital campaigns. For example, a popular airline might want to launch a campaign, which highlights its own punctuality whenever its nearest competitor is facing delays.”

You can access their latest white paper here.

Source: Travel trade leads the way in ‘moment’ marketing

How Terrorism Is Impacting the Travel Industry | Travel Agent Central

A new study from the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council’s GeoBranding Center and AIG Travel reports one in four travellers has changed vacation plans in the past year due to global or local safety, security or health concerns, with terrorism activity topping the list of reasons tourists will avoid travel to certain destinations.

Data for the report, entitled “How Global Voices Shape Travel Choices: The Impact of Consumer Apprehension on Travel Intention,” was collected from more than 2,000 American, European and other global travellers worldwide during October 2015 via an on-line survey by the CMO Council and Travelzoo.

58 percent of the traveller surveyed were female, and the majority of respondents were over the age of 45. 55 percent were residents of the U.S. and Canada, 16 percent lived in the United Kingdom and 23 percent lived in Germany. Other respondents lived in countries throughout Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. In addition to the study, the CMO Council also interviewed travel industry leaders, including senior travel and destination marketing officials at Kenya Airways, Turkish Culture and Tourism, Air Arabia, Malaysia Airlines, Sao Paulo Tourism, the German National Tourist Office, Israel Ministry of Tourism and others.

Have Travellers Changed Plans Due to Safety Concerns?

The study aimed to gather information on consumer views and areas of concern that lead travellers to alter their travel plans and intentions, including terrorist attacks, natural disasters, disease outbreaks, regional conflicts, political upheaval, crime and violence, civil unrest, plane crashes, and cruise line accidents or food safety issues. According to the survey, more than 60 percent of survey respondents report that turmoil, health hazards or active conflicts could sway or deter their travel to a specific country or region. That figure is higher than the impact shown by other research conducted by major travel industry organizations over the past month.

For example, a set of studies by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) showed that business travel in Europe “remains resilient” following November’s terrorist attacks in Paris and threats in Brussels. Three-quarters of European business travel buyers said that their company’s travel within Europe remained largely unaffected by the attacks in a GBTA poll. A GBTA poll of U.S.-based travel buyers showed similar results, with 57 percent of respondents reporting “no change” and another 16 percent reporting “slight reductions” in their company’s travel to Europe.

Additionally, at the recent United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) conference in Chicago, when discussing the recent terrorist attacks the USTOA executive committee said that their companies would only modify their itineraries following careful consideration.

The Survey’s Most and Least Safe Travel Destinations

The CMO report also surveyed consumers on which destinations they rated as being most and least safe. Australia and New Zealand were high on the list of safest destinations, as well as islands in the Pacific and Western Europe. More than 62 percent of travelers would like to visit Australia and New Zealand, as both countries showed a zero rate of travel concern or anxiety in the study. 10 percent or less of respondents wanted to visit North, Central or West Africa and the Middle East. 20 percent, however, said they would visit Southern Africa. A few survey participants also said Antarctica, Iceland, Greenland and the Arctic were desirable destinations.

Top Five Reasons Cited for Altering Travel Plans

The top five reasons cited in the study for avoiding travel to certain destinations include:

  • Terrorist activity (77 percent)
  • Military conflict or fighting (59 percent)
  • Outbreak of disease or health risks (46 percent)
  • High incidence of crime (25 percent)
  • Political upheaval (25 percent)

Ebola was cited as the number one infections disease that travellers worry about.

In terms of trusted sources of travel safety information, 55 percent of respondents rely on government agencies and law enforcement alerts, while 36 percent believe trusted information comes from news media and travel journalists. These sources were followed by friends and family (34 percent), third-party crowd-sourced travel rating sites (25 percent), and social media networks (17 percent).

Worldwide, the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s Tourism Barometer showed international tourist arrivals grew by 4.3 percent in the first eight months of 2015, with especially strong growth in Europe, a region named by CMO survey respondents as one of the safest travel destinations.

Source: How Global Voices Shape Travel Choices: The Impact of Consumer Apprehension on Travel Intention

Source: How Terrorism Is Impacting the Travel Industry | Travel Agent Central

Travel and hospitality companies have made good progress in the journey to digital maturity – new report | Econsultancy

More than a third (35%) of travel and hospitality organizations classify themselves as ‘digital disruptors’, and a further 48% describe their organizations as ‘fast followers’, according to research published today by Econsultancy and Adobe.

Additionally, over two-fifths (43%) of companies in this sector say they have a ‘central, integrated function dedicated to digital transformation’.

A global survey of nearly 200 senior digital marketing and e-commerce executives working for companies in the travel and hospitality sector found that the rise of digital-only companies and the sharing economy are top of mind when it comes to competitive and environmental pressures, and are important factors in driving companies to optimize and sometimes redefine their proposition and services.

The Digital Trends in the Travel and Hospitality Sector report also found that companies in this sector have really grasped the importance of mobile and are more focused on this business imperative than their counterparts in other industries, placing mobile at the heart of the customer journey.

Two in five (41%) companies agree that they are ‘mobile-first’, and almost two-thirds (63%) say that they have budget specifically allocated to mobile experimentation over the next 12 months.

The research has also revealed that the vast majority (82%) of companies are attempting to build a 360-degree view of customers in order to communicate to them more effectively. Three-quarters of responding companies (75%) say they have a data analytics strategy, but a significant proportion of these say (44%) that this strategy isn’t multichannel.

According to Mohammad Gaber, Head of Industry Strategy & Marketing, Travel & Hospitality at Adobe:

“The results of this research point to a technology, cultural, people and process transformation that is occurring in this sector. With focused integrated transformation functions, increasingly mobile-first posture and formalized data analytics strategies, it’s clear that progress is being made.

“However, significant opportunities remain, including a greater omnichannel data view, enhanced collaboration across marketing / technology teams and, importantly, the delivery of multichannel personalization.

”Other key findings include:

  • ‘Customer experience’ is the area where companies are most likely to be focused in the context of developing their digital capabilities over the next 12 months.-) More than a third (38%) of responding organizations say they are committed to the use of digital at their physical locations while a further 26% say they have carried out pilots.
  • Although virtually all companies claim to be doing some kind of personalization, only 30% say they are carrying out multichannel personalization based on digital and offline data.
  • Just under two-thirds (64%) of organizations say that their own data (first-party) is very effective for helping them to drive return on investment from marketing activities.
  • Social media platforms are the technology area where companies are most likely to be prioritizing investment over the next 12 months.

To get this report:

Source: Travel and hospitality companies have made good progress in the journey to digital maturity – new report | Econsultancy

Biometrics Might Help Make Your Future Travel Experience Better, But Can You Trust Them? – Forbes

Airlines in the future could feature seating sections arranged by function – families, business travellers, sleepers and those who want to watch or listen to entertainment – and lots of new technologies like biometrics and robotics that could make negotiating the travel process a whole lot easier.

But even many of those people who dare to dream of such refinements to the currently hassle-filled and and uncomfortable world of travel are sceptical about the technologies that could play a key role in making them possible.

Biometric identification systems like this Dermalog fingerprint scanner are increasingly being adopted worldwide for functions as diverse as banking and elections. Could they make the travel process smoother?

A number of airlines, hotel companies, rental car agencies, restaurant chains and other travel service providers – and the technology firms that support them – are tinkering with biometric technologies that could allow them not only recognize individual travellers so that they can pass through security checkpoints with ease but also perhaps be assigned the exact type of rental car they prefer, or have their hotel room arranged and equipped exactly as their preferred auto. Being able to provide those special touches without consumers having to request them or make special arrangements is seen by some travel industry marketing experts as the Holy Grail of revenue- and loyalty-enhancing techniques.

But results of an intriguing survey conducted recently by Boxever show both great longing among travellers for a smoother, more human and less frustrating travel experience – and deep cynicism among those same travellers that such improvements in the travel process will come about, or even be worthwhile. Boxever, based in Dublin, Ireland, is a predictive analytics and marketing advisory company that specializes in studying consumer’s interaction with travel companies.

For example, in Boxever’s recent survey of more than 500 travellers: 57% said airline cabins of the future would be improved by segregating travellers by the nature of their travel.  Business travellers would be seated together. Families travelling together with children would be seated in their own section. Those who wish only to sleep would be segregated from the rest. And those who want to watch movies or TV, or listen to music would have their own seating section.

55% said the use of biometrics such as fingerprints and retina scans for check-in, passing through security checkpoints and boarding would make the entire travel process smoother and easier.  Nearly a third – 31% – said the use of robotics would make the check-in, security and boarding processes better.

38% said the travel process would be improved by the use of self-driving cars that would drop off and pick them up at the terminal doors.

Yet:  Fewer than half of those same survey respondents say they trust airlines and other travel service companies to properly handle, store and protect their unique identifying biometric information such as fingerprints and retina patterns. As a result, concern about the protection of their biometric data is shaping up to be a major hurdle that travel service companies will have to overcome if they are to succeed in offering much more customized travel experiences – and generating extra revenue as a result.

Of that majority who are uncomfortable with the idea of airlines having and using their biometric information, two-thirds said they simply don’t trust airlines to handle such sensitive data. 56% said they are not comfortable with any company handling their biometric data.

And nearly half – 49% – of those who are uncomfortable with airlines’ use of biometrics said they are sceptical that the use of biometrics would actually improve the travel experience in the first place.

Perhaps most surprising, millennial travellers – those between the ages of 19 and 33 – are the most cynical when it comes to airlines potential use of fingerprints, retina scans, facial recognition software and cameras, and other biometric identification technologies. One might assume that millennials, who have never lived in a world without the Internet, who grew up using cell phones and playing complex video games, and who today tend to post lots of information about themselves and their thoughts online would be most comfortable with the use of biometric technologies.

Instead, 51% of this most tech-savvy of the groups surveyed said they are wary about potential security lapses among travel companies that would expose their data to hackers or others who would use it in harmful ways.

Source: Biometrics Might Help Make Your Future Travel Experience Better, But Can You Trust Them? – Forbes

One Image Tells You Exactly How Millennials And Centennials Travel

With millennials on average spending more than any other generation on travel, visual search, insights, rights management and publishing solutions provider Chute recently conducted a survey in an effort to illuminate the generation’s travel habits.

Chute surveyed 200 millennials (aged 18-34) and centennials (aged 13-17) about what inspires their travel as well as how they share and consume travel-related content.

While unsurprisingly, social media is the No. 1 source of travel inspiration for millennials, more than half of surveyed centennials indicated that in-person recommendations were their top source. Based on Chute’s survey, millennials also rely more heavily on destination websites, travel agents and print media for inspiration, whereas centennials get more inspiration from travel television ads.

When it comes to consuming travel content, both generations can agree on social media, with Instagram, Facebook and YouTube leading the way. Keep in mind that centennials tend to prefer Instagram to Facebook, and vice versa for millennials.Pinterest, Snapchat, Tumblr and Twitter are also popular means of consumption.

As expected given their travel-related content consumption habits, Instagram has emerged as the preferred sharing method for centennials, with 45 percent indicating they are most likely to share through the photo-based social networking service.Meanwhile, 63 percent of millennials said they are most likely to share their travel experiences on Facebook.

Interestingly, while centennials are slightly more likely to share their travel experiences after their trip than millennials, the latter generation is more likely to share during their trip.

“This study indicates how they [millennials] choose where to travel is very different than previous generations and many standard marketing approaches will fall flat,” said Chute co-founder and CEO Ranvir Gujral in a statement. “Destinations that wish to reach these travelers must adjust their marketing strategies to include a strong social component and work to understand both the content and platforms most important to them in order to be successful in the near and long term.”The following infographic courtesy of Chute provides additional insight.

Source: One Image Tells You Exactly How Millennials And Centennials Travel | TravelPulse