The travel industry finds itself immersed in a sea of constant changes. Travelers’ expectations and changing circumstances keep the ecosystem in an ongoing state of flux, and the continual emergence of new players has led to a marketplace which is constantly evolving. Companies need to remain alert and ensure that they are constantly adapting to the new rules of the game.

In the epicenter of the European travel industry, the team of Accenture Travel experts based in our Digital Hub in Madrid looks to shed some light on the factors shaping the industry, and call out the game changers that they believe will break through during 2018.

Travel meets modular

Trips are being designed and created based on the combination of separate modules, each of which are made up of separate elements, for example the hotel room, the method of transport and the airport lounge. These modules can be interconnected to form a new and highly personalized experience for the traveler.

This new trend in travel design is based on the intelligence behind the composition of these modules, and how they can be combined and connected to improve the experience of the traveler.

The magnetic battlefield

Travel is a highly competitive sector involving actors from different industries. The sector has become a kind of battlefield where brands either attract or repel each other. There are three driving forces which are shaping this new ecosystem in the tourism industry; customer expectations, the consolidation of the superbrands, and the configuration of trips according to the new modular architecture.

There is an urgent need for companies to come together to meet the growing demands of travelers, by generating new trips and services designed around their needs. Brands need to identify the position they hold, and define a strategy which will allow them to survive the battle.

Redefined destinations

Tourists consider an endless number of issues when picking a destination, such as the problems derived from the rise in terrorism or the spikes in tourism-phobia perceived in certain capital cities. However, there is an opportunity for new destinations to be redefined and for brands to become destination management companies, finding a way to ensure trust, and attract and retain travelers.

This situation is leading to a new way of measuring destinations, the Traveler Risk Tolerance Index.

Travel map with pins connected by string

The quantified traveler

Data transactions have become the main focus of a more dynamic and interactive journey between brands and travelers. However, this leads to the beginning of dehumanized experiences and the rise of travelers’ anxiety. In their obsession to measure everything, brands are transforming customers into numbers.

Brands need to be aware that travelers’ expectations point in a different direction. Since privacy no longer exists, customers can only trust in a brand’s transparency.

Travel companies need to embrace the technologies available which allow them to deliver "tech with soul."

Prepared to lead in the new?

Faced with this demanding and constantly evolving landscape of change, travel brands need to pivot towards the new, to correctly position themselves on travel’s “magnetic battlefield."

Only those that inspire travelers, by offering services and trips that truly respond to their growing expectations—or even anticipate their needs—will be able to position themselves for success in this highly demanding environment.

Miguel Flecha

Managing Director – Accenture Interactive

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