travel tech insights

5 Important Travel Industry Trends of 2016

As 2016 comes to a close, it’s important for travel agencies, travel management, tour operators, and mother major players in today’s travel industry to stop and reflect on the past 12 months in order to get a better understanding of what the coming year might have in store. With everything from technology to shifting demographics to new and emerging markets, 2016 was an influential year for the travel industry driven in large part by travel companies reimagining how they function on a daily basis - and that’s not to mention a host of global, political, and environmental events, each of which presented challenges and opportunities for travel companies worldwide.

Topics: travel travel trends 2016

The Link Between Menus and Vouchers: The Importance of Offer Templates

Imagine a restaurant without a menu where the chef and kitchen staff simply presented diners with a list of available ingredients with the intent of making customers whatever dishes they desired. This means the kitchen staff could, at any given moment, be making a wide variety of dishes from meatloaf and roasted chicken to salads and stews. This might sound great from a diner’s perspective, but from the point of the view chef, it would be chaos. A menu not only help diners dial-in on what meal they’d like prepared, but it also allows a restaurant to limit its number of offerings, which helps drive down cost, increase efficiency, and enhance the overall quality of product it provides to its customers.

Just like menus in the restaurant world, the same is true of voucher and offer templates in today’s travel industry. Because travel agencies and travel management companies work with so many suppliers on the back-end and customers on the front-end, the importance of a streamlined offer and voucher system cannot be overstated in leveraging optimal productivity and efficiency. Utilizing a flexible, agile voucher and offer template platform is increasingly an important value proposition as travel agencies must complete more and more transactions each day to remain competitive and relevant in today’s global travel landscape.

Topics: travel travel agent Templates travel agencies offers vouchers

Inside the Locker Room: How Tour Operators Prepare for A New Season

Think about your favorite sports team as they begin to ready themselves for a new season. The team meets to watch and discuss game film; they work on game strategy, conceive new, and revise old plays; they engage in individual and team practices to sharpen or refine their skills; and they work closely with coaches and other levels of team management to ensure optimal levels of fitness and mental readiness for the long season ahead.

For tour operators in today’s global travel industry, the preparation necessary to ready themselves for the next travel season is not unlike the measures teams take to prep for their next campaign. The operational, back-office, and even customer-facing duties and tasks tour operators engage in before the season directly reflects business outcomes by the season’s end. Of course, tour operators aren’t watching game film of an opponent or taking part in intense practice sessions, but strategizing about which products and services to offer, where and how to source them, selecting the right itineraries to promote, and more are critical drivers for tour operators in ensuring an efficient, productive travel campaign.

Topics: travel Tour Operator Tour Companies Tour Operators

The Comeback of the Cruise

Ask any number of travel industry insiders and they’ll all tell you the same thing: Cruises are back.

According to a recent poll by Cruise Line International Association, 83 percent of the group’s agents expect to see sharp increases in cruise packages sales throughout the rest of 2016 and beyond. In addition, 77 percent expect travelers will spend more money on cruise packages this year than in 2015. 

But what’s even more staggering is that 24 million people are expected to take a cruise of some manner during 2016 - a huge increase from just 15 million in 2006. That jump equates to the cruise sector clocking in at a $119 billion industry, a figure which is only expected to rise as cruise lines expand into new and emerging markets such as Asia, Cuba, and others.

Topics: Travel Industry travel travel packages Demographics Cruise

How Cognitive Computing Could Change How We Travel

tablet-travel.jpgIt sounds like something straight out of The Jetsons: Describing your criteria for an upcoming business trip or vacation to a computer, which then instantaneously generates personalized recommendations based on profiles culled from past purchasing behavior.

Perhaps even more out of this world? The computer could then actually book your entire destination package making choices about airlines, flight times, hotel accommodations, and other bookings based on a profile of your most recent travel preferences.

Science fiction, right? Not necessarily thanks to one of the next big waves of technological innovation to hit the travel industry: cognitive computing.

 

Topics: travel Big Data Cognitive computing trends cloud computing