RESEARCH REPORT

In brief

In brief

  • Every year, we scan the travel landscape to forecast four new directions that are changing the industry's itinerary.
  • These real-world insights are grounded in data and decades of experience working with brands of all sizes and segments across the globe.
  • As travel and new technologies copilot the next wave of experience, brands need to find their own way forward.


Travel has always been a collection of experiences, but disruptors inside and outside the industry like Uber, Airbnb, Amazon and Apple have raised the stakes: Travelers now demand experiences that are authentic, co-created and immediate. How do you proceed? By ditching the map and discovering new ways of thinking and doing.

Stop following the path—and forge your own.

01. Pushing boundaries: Expanding online and extending digital to physical

Traditional boundaries are changing. In addition to selling their own wares online, travel brands will increasingly bring third-party products to the table. Beyond the online offering, this shift will also transform the in-destination experience. But first, brands must revisit their technology architectures.

Travel goes e-retail

The "Amazonification" of travel: Travel brands selling adjacent products and services will enrich the guest experience while building a 360-degree ecosystem.

Digital gets physical

As brands connect online and offline touchpoints, they'll transform how guests interact with products on site, maximizing revenue per square meter.

IT gets a makeover

To co-create these experiences, partners need more flexible, agile infrastructures that can facilitate a new level of data sharing and collaboration.

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02. Content jetlag: Consumers need a vacation from vacation planning

As technology progresses, so will the overwhelming number of travel channels, formats and choices. To reach weary travelers seeking a respite from the noise, brands need to sharpen the who, what, where, when and why of their messaging. Precision will be the answer to oversaturation.

A wild world of content

From voice assistants to virtual reality, brands are engaging guests in new ways every day. Content that piques multiple human senses is not far away.

The burnout problem

People travel to unplug from the clutter of daily life. Brands looking to capitalize on new technologies must tread carefully to hold attention.

A wise strategy wins

Brands need a data-rich approach that delivers hyper-relevance through advanced analytics, psychographic segmentation and real-time customer insights.

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03. Travel gets to work: B2B's new DNA

A revolution in how, when and where people work is reinventing business travel. The 9-to-5 no longer has a time zone, and corporate travelers, booking agents and event planners are demanding the same streamlined, customer-centric experiences they get as leisure travelers. Now’s the time to rethink your B2B value proposition.

Disruption at work

Coworking is transforming the workplace. The office now commutes to you, acting as a mobile, social space that feels more like home.

Work hard, play hard

Workers want to maximize their business travel. Winning brands will embrace the concept of "bleisure" trips and curate experiences around them.

Designed for people, not corporations

Booking a vacation is almost fun as going. Why isn't it the same for business travel? Redesigning corporate planning tools will be a key brand differentiator.

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04. Shifting tides of loyalty: The rewards of trust

Patterns among travel industry data breaches reveal cyber criminals are seizing on loyalty data as loot. To lock in future revenue, brands need to lock up this treasure trove of personal information. The urgent need for security will trigger a major change, ending the era of evolving rewards and redefining how the industry thinks about loyalty—its most precious asset.

A hacked itinerary

Hackers are targeting the $200 billion global travel loyalty market. This could jeopardize consumer trust and put renewal revenues at risk.

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Protecting the cache

Travel companies need to make loyalty data security an enterprise-wide priority, complete with executive support and ongoing investment and innovation.

Loyalty reinvented

Instead of emphasizing points, perks and personalization, rewards programs will be redesigned around trust as the main value proposition for customers.

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Miguel Flecha

Managing Director, Lead – Travel Industry, Europe

MORE ON THIS TOPIC


ETA: Innovation en route

Get a glimpse at several other important changes on the horizon:

Travel with a moral compass

People are seeking ethical travel with firms that are transparent and conscious about social impact.

Destination—Wellness

Beyond spas and retreats, travelers are looking for brands that embrace wellness as a core value.

A new revolution in transportation:

Transit innovations are making people rethink the concept of distance, affordability and travel itself.

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