Digitisation has started having an impact on every aspect of our daily life, from the supermarket to yes, even the travel industry.
Although not very prevalent in South Africa yet, European supermarkets for example have started introducing self-serve check-out lanes where shoppers can scan, bag and pay for their items without any assistance from a ‘human’ employee.
Also in the travel industry, digitisation is having a profound impact and it is leading to a more customer-centered travel experience giving clients more control over the booking and travel process.
Online travel sites are a perfect example of digitisation in the travel industry. Today’s travelers, much like the shopper at the local supermarket, can move seamlessly from shopping to purchasing at their own pace.
According to a report from DCS Travel Technologies, there are 3 ways in which digital technology is changing the travel industry.
Digital technologies such as Big Data and cloud computing, have made it easy for travel companies to personalise offers and packages based on consumer preference. A travel company can for example target a millennial traveller by using actionable, mined preference data to provide the traveller with unique, eclectic travel options.
While it’s true today’s traveler is more savvy when it comes to researching and booking trips or vacations, the sheer volume of available information can be overwhelming. Personalisation via digital technology gives travel companies a leg-up on providing a quick and convenient purchasing experience.
Social media as well as travel review websites, have changed the way travelers research, interact, and recommend destinations to friends, family, and other social media users. And this medium is also changing the way travel companies create, manage, and provide products and services.
Say for example a hotel offers more luxurious bath products in selected rooms. If online reviews about these higher-end products are positive, management can leverage this response and reevaluate the products offered hotel-wide.
Recent studies show today’s traveller is glued to their mobile device at all times. With so many travelers researching, purchasing, and reviewing travel destinations via their mobile devices, responsiveness and agility in a travel company’s website and overall online presence is key.
Mobile technology has enabled travelers to book hotels or flights, order room service, or review a guided wine tour and tasting via handheld devices in their pockets, and this control and enhanced visibility is a boon to today’s traveler and an opportunity for growth and expansion for today’s travel companies.