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travel tech insights

Bon Appetit: The Rise of the Culinary Traveler

Budget. Adventure. Experimental. Millennial. The population of today’s travel industry is fragmented into so many different niche categories or markets it can be difficult for travel agencies, tour operators, and other travel management companies to effectively position themselves as a value proposition to each of these unique, varied market segments. And now the travel and tourism industry may have to further diversify its outreach and customer relations efforts with the rise of yet another idiosyncratic breed of tourist: the culinary traveler.

During the last five or so years, the culinary traveler - and food tourism in general - has become a major player in the travel industry, driving growth and expansion in current and emerging markets as more and more travelers seek to experience different cultures through food and food and beverage-based activities.

Topics: travel trends Food and Adventure Tourism Food Tourism Culinary traveler

The 3 E’s: Why Millennials Are Turning to Travel Agents

It may seem counterintuitive that the most connected, digitally tuned-in generation in history is helping to reverse the trend in recent years away from travel agencies, but a series of reports and surveys in recent years indicate that’s exactly what’s happening. Millennials, one of the most sought-after market shares in today’s travel industry, are leading the charge in utilizing travel agents and online travel agencies to help curate their travel experiences, which is proving to be a boon for travel companies as they seek to leverage new competitive advantages for relevancy in today’s fast-paced travel landscape.

According to a new report by the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), about 30 percent of millennials reported using a travel agency in the last 12 months - in addition, more than 45 percent indicated they would recommend using a travel agent to friends or family.

Topics: travel agency travel trends Millennials travel agent trends

Travel Apps By the Numbers

It simply can’t be stated enough: mobile travel apps have changed and are changing the way today’s traveler experiences travel and the ways travel companies reach their customers. Whether you’re talking about millennial, adventure, or experimental travelers, the impact of mobile travel apps is undeniable, and there’s no greater proof than the resources travel companies, suppliers, and travel agencies have dedicated to becoming more responsive, faster, and more agile to cater to the mobile needs of the modern traveler.

While the industry ramp-up in mobile app technology has been steady during the last five years, hotels and hotel booking suppliers have made a strong push during the last 18 months to create robust mobile app platforms aimed at offering customers the easiest, most convenient platform to research and complete bookings, while at the same time working with travel management companies and online travel agencies to create better visibility and enhanced transparency when it comes to inventory, transactions, invoicing, and other operational processes.

Topics: Mobile Technology travel mobile app Mobile Bookings Mobile App travel booking system

The Connectivity of Travel: Top Technologies

Travel and tourism are both ostensibly about making connections, whether it be with the people you meet during your journey or with the culture and landscape of your destination. It’s about creating dynamic, symbiotic experiences that come with learning about new people and places with similarities and differences from your own life experience.

Which is why is make sense that the travel industry is built on connections and interactions between several different entities throughout a travel company’s value chain to provide the very best value and experience for customers. A complex distribution system of retail travel agents, travel service wholesalers, and local tourism agencies who contract with wholesalers all work to provide travelers with the knowledge, products, and services to ensure a smooth, hassle-free travel experience.

Topics: travel technology Travel Distribution Channels Reseller networks travel booking system internet booking engine

Pros and Cons of Mobile Travel Apps

Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Motion says for every action there’s an equal or opposite reaction - essentially, each action has two component parts that not only rely upon each other but can also counteract or combat each other’s characteristics. But what does Newton’s Third Law of Motion have to do with the travel industry?

Well, when it comes to travel apps and how these platforms provide value added for travel companies and their customers, the issue is not necessarily a matter of black and white. Instead, much like Newton’s Third Law, each action - or component of a travel app - has distinct benefits and liabilities - actions and reactions - that travel companies should consider before implementing a mobile app strategy or solution.

While it’s fair to say the travel industry at-large has more or less fully-embraced mobile concepts and functionality during the last few years, smaller travel companies or new start-ups are faced with a myriad of decisions and value propositions when it comes to creating and propagating a mobile platform.

Topics: Mobile Technology Travel App travel trends Mobile App Digital Technology

5 Statistics Behind the Rise of Chinese Millennial Travelers

We’ve discussed in a great deal before on this blog the rise and importance of the millennial traveler in terms of reshaping how the travel industry at-large appeals to and interacts with a younger generation of traveler - and how that younger generation engages with travel primarily through digital media, mobile technology, and the internet. But these discussion have usually been somewhat broad in nature and have not examined the concept of the millennial traveler through any specific cultural lens. That is until now, because recent travel industry reports and surveys have pinpointed a certain millennial traveler whose impact could mean seismic shifts in the tourism industry landscape.

We’re talking about the Chinese millennial traveler, particularly those on the higher-end of the socioeconomic spectrum, who are poised to become one of the most sought-after market segments of the near future.

Topics: travel trends millennial travelers Demographics Chinese millennial

How Tour Operators Are Capitalizing on Experimental Travel

The term ‘experiential travel’ is somewhat perplexing. For some, it might conjure up notions of obscure, harrowing activities in far-flung regions of the world where the idea of smartphone connectivity and wi-fi are entirely alien concepts.

While the true definition of experimental travel - selecting destinations, tours, and activities on a whim that are most commonly off the beaten path - does contain some elements of daring, today’s experimental traveler (much like today’s adventure traveler and somewhat akin to the millennial traveler) seeks unique, culturally relevant, and personalized travel experiences that are often booked on short notice - sometimes only a few hours beforehand. It’s an emerging, growing sector in today’s travel industry, and it’s one tour operators are capitalizing on and leveraging to remain viable and competitive.

The rise in experimental travel is something of a recent phenomenon.

Topics: Tour Operator travel trends Experimental travel

The Importance of Responsive Websites for Travel Companies

Everyone knows the old saying you can’t judge a book by it’s cover, but at the same time everyone knows the importance of making a positive first impression. It’s a paradox that relies solely judging a book by it’s cover, but it’s a paradox we live with on a daily basis and one that travel companies must reckon with when it comes to their web presence and the responsiveness of their website.

Imagine: You log on to a travel company’s website to research a destination or complete a booking and the site takes seemingly forever to load. Images don’t display properly, text is difficult to read, and drop-down bars and navigation tabs don’t function and impede your ability to move through the site. You try to access the same site later from a smartphone and tablet and encounter the same issues again, only this time their magnified because the site is not equipped to handle mobile interfacing. Frustrated with this experience, you ditch this website in favor of a competitor which offers a more simple, clean web-based interaction.

This is what is meant by a responsive website: a website design that recognizes a visitor’s device, changes page configurations for best viewing, and is capable of displaying with optimal functionality across all spectrums of devices - desktop, laptop, tablet, and more.

Topics: travel technology travel website travel company online travel agency responsive travel website

Why Travel Agencies Still Matter for Corporate Travelers

Today’s corporate travelers have a lot on their plate. Is the presentation ready? Has everyone reviewed the report? Will the right players be available for this afternoon’s conference call? How can we quickly leverage this data into a positive action for our company? These are the questions the average corporate traveler faces on a daily basis, which is why - given the number of decisions needed each day - it makes perfect sense that travel agencies are still an important value proposition for the 21st Century corporate traveler.

Yes, in today’s increasingly connected, digitized world, access to destination information, travel review websites, and online travel agencies (OTAs) or travel management companies (TMCs) is greater than ever. But as the speed and pace of the corporate lifestyle continues to increase, business travelers find themselves at something of a curious paradox: the speed and availability in ecommerce that makes travel bookings so easy and convenient has actually made it difficult for corporate travelers to tend to these tasks given the myriad of other responsibilities they have day-in and day-out.

Topics: travel agency travel trends Business Travelers Corporate Travel