Smart technology is transforming the tourism industry with personalized services that suggest richer and more enjoyable experiences suited to a traveler’s individual preferences, reveals the WTM Global Trends Report 2015, in association with Euromonitor International released at World Travel Market London.
Using mobile technology and big data analytics, companies are now able to suggest interesting activities for travelers at their location, reveals the report, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary at WTM London 2015.
For example, the TripAdvisor Apple Watch app can send a push notification at lunchtime with information about the highest-rated restaurant nearby. The next step will be tailoring the service to travelers’ personal tastes. Google Now is aiming to proactively bring consumers information before they ask, based on their past behavior, with geo-localization keeping suggestions locally relevant. The key lies in providing “context-aware information in the moment that matters”, according to Google UK Sales Director, Bernd Fauser.
OTAs such as Booking.com and Expedia, are currently working on customers’ preferences to increase booking conversions, and they will move to personalized mobile services next. World Travel Market, Senior Director, Simon Press said: “The opportunities that smart technology offers travel companies are endless and we have only scratched the surface. It won’t be long before personalized suggestions – created from cross-checking consumers’ preferences and current location with online inventories of local travel services and activities – will become the norm.“
Euromonitor International, Head of Travel, Caroline Bremner said: “Companies now have the possibility to collect a wealth of information about consumers that was previously unavailable to them – usually referred to as big data – and this is leading to offers of more personalized experiences.“A gradual shift to one-to-one marketing in travel will be evident, with each consumer treated in a different way in terms of the overall marketing mix including pricing.”
Mobile travel sales reached US$96 billion in 2014, accounting for 12.5% of global on-line travel sales, according to Euromonitor International. They are forecast to record a strong compound annual growth of 22% over the period 2014-2019.