Unlocking the Future of Travel: A Guide to Delivering Unparalleled Value to Modern Travellers
Travel has a special place in our hearts. It allows us to break away from our daily routines, explore new places, meet new people, and experience different cultures for a time. But travel experiences are also opportunities for learning and personal and professional growth, broadening our perspectives and allowing us to gain a deeper understanding of the world around us. These experiences hold a lot of meaning for leisure and business travellers, so it’s paramount that travel providers get this experience right or risk upsetting their customers.
However, as an industry, we sometimes don’t deliver on our promises. The travel value chain is fragmented in places and is becoming more complex over time, and this can cause frustration for travellers. So, how can we as an industry deliver seamless, joined up travel experiences?
1. Make It Personal
Personalisation is at the heart of speaking to travellers in a way that builds loyalty and advocay. Creating customised experiences that are tailored to the preferences of individual travellers should be the goal of all travel businesses in this highly competitive industry. So, how can travel providers create more personalised experiences for their travellers?
Data collection, analysis, and application
Travel providers (particularly hotels and airlines) hold vast amounts of data about their customers, which can be used to improve the customer experience, both digitally and in person. Wolfgang Krips, Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy at Amadeus, explained the data generation process in travel: “When a person travels, they go through several channels, generating data each time…to allow our customers to extract relevant analysis.” By collecting, analysing and applying data insights, travel providers can create customised offerings that cater to customers’ personal preferences and interests.
Collect relevant data, such as demographics, booking habits and travel history through customer interactions, surveys, and website and app usage, but be sure to comply with the relevant privacy and data security regulations. Consolidate the collected data into a CRM system, which you can then integrate with a data analytics tool to unify the data and access valuable insights into your customer base. Once you’ve done this, you can sort your customers into segments and target them with personalised offers and communications.
Another way you can engage with travellers and offer them a personalised experience is to offer customised packages. Travellers want packages that appeal to their interests—80 per cent of consumers are more likely to buy from a company that provides a tailored experience. Base packages on the individual interests of your customer segments, including the budget, preferred destinations and in-trip experiences. Providing your customers with personalised packages increases the likelihood your customers will convert because they will be interested in the offering.
Implementing dynamic pricing based on past booking behaviour and interests will increase the perceived value of your offering, increasing the chances a traveller will book with you over a competitor.
2. Prioritise Data Security, and Privacy
Consumers are concerned about data security and privacy. Research by the Ponemon Institute revealed that 74 per cent of consumers say they have little control over their data. Data security and privacy play a key role in fostering trust and confidence in the travel industry as a whole, so it needs to be a priority for all travel providers.
Data protection measures
As personalised experiences become increasingly reliant on data collection and analysis, it is vital that travel providers adopt robust data protection measures. Establish a comprehensive data protection policy that complies with relevant privacy legislation and invest in employee training to ensure your team is educated on data protection best practices and applicable privacy regulations.
Conduct regular security audits and vulnerability assessments to identify and address any weaknesses in your systems, and create an incident response plan outlining the steps to take if a data breach occurs.
3. Agile and or tiered pricing:
Appealing to travellers with budgets impacted by recession
The cost of living crisis is squeezing the UK household budgets. However, Brits are still keen to travel—a recent survey by Booking.com found that spending money on a holiday is a top priority for almost half of consumers. So, how can you appeal to travellers with smaller budgets?
Affordable travel packages
Offer travellers budget-friendly packages that combine accommodation, transportation and activities at competitive prices. There are steps you can take to reduce costs, maximise value and cater to unique customer travel preferences. For example, you can promote your travel packages during off-peak times, partner with budget-friendly suppliers, offer group discounts and promote local experiences.
Flexible booking and payment options
Post-Covid, customers expect travel providers to offer flexible booking options. They want to have ultimate flexibility with bookings by being able to cancel, amend and choose add-ons to customise their travel experience. Rigid travel bookings will only scare customers with reduced budgets away, likely into the arms of your competitors. But that’s not all—travel providers must also offer flexible payment options, such as instalment plans and early booking discounts, to attract more travellers.
The future of travel lies in delivering unparalleled value to travellers, who increasingly seek personalised, secure, innivative and budget-friendly experiences. To stay competitive in travel, providers should prioritise personalisation by leveraging data insights and offering customised packages and dynamic pricing. At the same time, they must ensure data security is robust, and privacy measures are followed to build trust and comply with applicable regulations.
Additionally, appealing to budget-conscious consumers is vital in today’s economic climate. Travel providers can attract these customers by offering affordable travel packages that promote off-peak travel, collaboration with budget-friendly suppliers and provide flexible booking and payment options. By adopting the strategies above, travel providers can create value for travellers by embracing personalisation, data security and privacy and offering budget-friendly experiences that meet the diverse needs of today’s travellers.
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