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Key Travel Trends Impacting the Digital Experience in 2016

Travel-Trends
October 5, 2016 By Trip-Smart
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Do you remember the last time you booked a flight ticket through a travel agent? Well, most people don’t. But that doesn’t alter the fact that technology has an indispensable role to play in the future of travel. The travel industry is constantly innovating new ideas and concepts to offer a pleasant experience to the travelers across various social and digital channels. The digital occurrence in the travel industry is expanding its horizons with each passing day. Take, for instance, drone photography or virtual tours. The digital world is continuously changing the way we move, travel, stay and see places.

“Analog is more beautiful than digital, really, but we go for comfort!”

– Anton Corbijn

Digitization has opened doors for the new avenues. It is no longer limited to making the customer interaction easier or cheaper. It is, in fact, a platform for promotions, sales, lead generation and for elevating the market shares.

Here’s a look at the key travel trends impacting the digital experience in 2016 and beyond:

  1. Transforming the online site experience: Travelers look for a seamless online experience in order to meet their expectations from a digital platform, be it travel, shopping, or any other. Therefore, focus on delivering a hassle-free online experience and providing everything that they are looking for in one click. The look and feel of your site matters a lot as it will help garner travelers’ attention. Multi-language support, rich experience that aligns with their expectations, a wide array of choices and a sorted list of hotels and airlines to choose from, multimedia experience in the form of travel videos, discounts on travel essentials can really leave a lasting impression on visitors.
  2. Mobile first: Mobile-first innovation is giving a tough competition to the traditional online web browsing. Nowadays, travelers look up to their mobile devices to get firsthand information about any place. Smartphones and tablets have replaced laptops or personal computers to a greater extent. As per a recent finding, 38% of leisure travelers use their smartphones for the travel research, which is 57% in case of business travelers. (Source). Therefore, a travel fulfillment company or a travel club must work towards providing a smooth and swift mobile experience to its customers. This is particularly helpful to travelers in more ‘on-demand’ situations such as hotel booking as soon as they arrive at the airport.
  3. Alternative stays: In this age of Airbnb and Uber, where the stays are not just limited to typical hotels or resorts and have evolved more into ‘experience’, the option of alternative stays should become legit. The travel companies can collaborate with the alternative stay providers and stand out in the marketplace. The concept of eco-stays is already in trend. Even homestays are creating a lot of buzz. Travelers are always keen into exploring the innovative options to stay and enrich their experience.
  4. Personalized travel: Tapping into the content generated by the consumer habit is something of a great value to the travel companies. Most of the leading brands are taking help from social media analytics tools to leverage user-generated content. The process turns their website or social media outlet into a powerful analytical tool. They can get insights into consumers’ behavior and the next time, they can present the consumers with a list of viable options to choose from as per their liking or the search history. This added touch of personalization can elevate the experience of travelers and they will definitely form a connection with your travel brand. Also, engaging customers on a regular basis will also give a peek into their choices. Personalization is going to be one trend that will impact the way we see travel in the future.
  5. Virtual reality: Virtual Reality or VR is making waves everywhere. It is not just limited to gaming but opening various new avenues to transform the whole travel industry. The future of travel can be outlined with the fact that the by-products of VR such as virtual-reality travel and virtual travel agent are a real thing now.

The advent of virtual-reality lets you see the world from the armchair and makes you feel the presence through a real-like simulated environment. These virtual tours instill a desire to travel and create excitement in travelers. The VR tours of a hotel or a destination can really ignite the spark to visit the place. The VR technology is going to go beyond the limits and will attempt to provide a more immersive experience. Virtual-travel agent is the new ‘it’ thing. You can book a flight ticket or look for the hotel choices in a particular destination by placing a request to your virtual travel agent and he will do the needful for you. It follows the same rules of VR and is expected to make a mark post-2016.

Trip-Smart Travel Solutions is a full service, bespoke travel solutions company focused on delivery to the B2B market with 60 years of experience in the online travel domain. We provide travel api, white-label travel portal and travel affiliate programs.

For more info, contact:

Mike Putman
mputman@trip-smart.com
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