Digital transformation is the wave of the future, but it’s not always smooth sailing. In the travel segment, the first wave of transformation already saw the time-honored institution of travel agencies – over 34,000 US agencies in 1995, only 13,000 today (CNN) – replaced by self-directed online booking.
But as illustrated in our current Selligent Trend Report: Digital transformation in the travel industry, the $7.5 trillion global travel industry with its 277 million jobs is charting a new course into the digital future.
With extensively networked digital properties and deep hooks into customer data collected via travel booking sites and social media channels, travel companies are delivering customized dream vacations according to the likes and preferences of today’s travelers.
It’s the perfect time: In a recent Tripadvisor survey, 32% of consumers intended to spend more on travels than the year before. This is buoyed by the trend towards spending money on memories instead of possessions, especially pronounced with young travelers: 6 out of 10 millennials would rather spend money on experiences than material goods (MMGY Global).
Accordingly, travel companies are investing in their digital storefronts and mobile channels to keep today’s hyper-connected travelers snapping, sharing, researching and reviewing on the fly – leaving immense data footprints for marketers to leverage.
Speaking of data, the infographic below highlights some of the key findings from the Trend Report, now available for free download.
The comprehensive Trend Report highlights the full scope of digital transformation in the travel segment, including insights such as:
- What today’s hyper-connected travelers really want on vacation. They touch their smartphone 43 times per day and influence each other’s travel plans – here’s how travel companies keep them happy.
- The 5 digital trends disrupting travel. Vacations happen in real life, but their digital aftermath lasts forever – especially reviews – and customers have more choices than ever on where to book and stay.
- Showcase: Selligent's travel industry clients deliver holiday magic. Checking in with Neckermann, Bookit, and MMV on leveraging insights from Selligent’s 360° customer view.
- Keeping track with Big Data and analytics. From location-based data to online reviews, today’s travelers leave a rich trail of digital breadcrumbs – but how can marketers stay on the right track?
- The report’s Mega Trend shines a light on Virtual Reality – poised to go mainstream with the Q1 2016 arrival of the Oculus Rift consumer headset – as the key to new travel experiences.
As the report concludes, digital transformation in the travel industry is no short weekend getaway, but a long, continuous journey that will require adaptation over the next few years and beyond.