Moving the global travel industry forward
An outlook on the 2018 growth path
The 'Moving the global travel industry forward' article has been developed for the 2018 World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Global Summit, explaining what factors will bring growth and what vulnerabilities the travel sector will face.
A stage for unprecedented growth
Even though local dynamics may differ, travel markets across the globe continue to thrive. Together, they are contributing to a global travel industry that has reached unprecedent size and momentum. To give an example of growth in the travel industry; the number of international travel departures across the globe have been more than doubled over the past two decades (from roughly 600M$ to 1.3BN$). A big part of this growth comes from emerging country travelers, who are leaving domestic borders for the very first time.
The path forward: data-centric personalisation
While travel brands have been tip-toeing around personalisation for quite some time, 2018 could be a year in which real transitions will become visible. Technologies such as AI and machine learning, the Internet of Things and Near Field Communication (NFC) are coming of age and together, they share the potential to create personalised moments that matter and bring joy to a travel experience still riddled with pain-points, interruptions and a lingering one-size-fits-all mentallity.
So what are these personalized moments that matter? Examples are the hotel guest that finds the temperature in its room already set to their liking before they enter. Or the frequent business flyer who finds its favorite drink waiting at their seat after they are greeted by name when they board. Even though different in various ways, it all boiles down to a brand interaction in the digital or physical realm that demonstrates the wilingness of a business to go above and beyond to provide their customers with experiences and services tailored to individual needs and preferences.
Technology shaping the future of travel
Technology is also bringing disruption in the travel industry. Let's take a look on some of these technologies and how exactly they are shaping the future of travel:
- Artificial intelligence: AI is a power behind many technologies that can be inhered into the travel industry. Think about a travel website that learns to deliver a more personalised results for its travel planners. Or chatbots that help suppliers to provide better service.
- IoT: As connectivity enhancer, IoT brings some of the biggest improvements to the travel experience in 2018. Examples are connected hotel rooms outfitted with smart home technology or a connected airline seat that measures a traveler's anxiety, body temperature and hydratation level to provide better service.
- Blockchain: Big players and start-ups alike are looking to blockchain for solutions to industry pain-points, including streamlining online distribution and reamagined loyalty programs.
Please take a look at the report to find out about the other technologies that shape the future of travel.
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