Travel Trends 2017

Travel technology company Amadeus has unveiled its list of travel trends that will have an impact on the industry next year.

The rise of retail: The travel industry will begin to model itself on the retail industry, relying more and more on cross-selling and upselling. Travel agents will plug in negotiated content and third-party deals rather than relying solely on GDS content.

Hyper-personalisation: We’ve only begun to scratch the surface of personalisation. Demographics are becoming less and less relevant, as travellers want options that are contextual, based on their ever-changing needs: the next stage of personalization is giving the traveller what he wants at a given time.

Changing the definition of LCC: In the past travellers have viewed LCCs as the no-frills way to travel between two cities. While travellers will still want to take advantage of the lower cost of an LCC, they will be looking for a full-service experience including mobile alerts and a higher level of duty of care.

Virtual and augmented reality: The travel industry is all about selling an experience, and VR and AR will become important selling tools. Travellers will be able to go inside an aircraft cabin and choose their seat, or walk around a hotel room or downtown neighbourhood, encouraging them to make a decision and book.

Sharing economy:  As travellers continue to blur the lines between travelling for business and leisure, major players in the consumer industry are becoming more popular for business travelers. Airbnb and Uber both have dedicated business travel sections, and have shown enormous growth since their launch. Sharing economy services – and the data they collect – will continue to be embraced by companies looking to provide a high level duty of care and better understand the needs of individual business travellers.

Mobile:  Mobile will continue to play a key role in the travel sector and will allow travellers to have more control over their experience. Mobile payments and location-based services will be a priority among airlines, airports, and hotels, as will mobile-based travel assistance. Providers who invest in mobile will have an advantage over traditional suppliers.

Robotics: A recent study showed 80 per cent of travellers expect to encounter robots frequently by 2020, and almost two-thirds are comfortable being served by robots. As travel providers begin to invest in robotics, people will become even more comfortable with relying on robots to help manage luggage and provide concierge services at hotels, direct guests on cruise lines, and offer information at airports. Robots will also be used for guest services such as bartending. 

Look out for BBT’s Hotlist in the January/February issue of BBT

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