Top trends turning travel in 2020

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The tourism and travel industry is radically affected by the Internet and mobile technologies. In recent years, technology is part of our daily activity, no matter the situation. We don't even wake up well and we keep an eye on the phone. When traveling through the city or our travels, waze and google maps are indispensable applications. We do nothing without involving technology.

And all these gadgets and applications have changed the way we plan our trip and even the way we travel. Below is a material developed by Amades and shows some top trends that will transform travel in 2020.

Top trends in travel in 2020

You've got a message

Using artificial intelligence and Machine Learning to communicate with customers

Airlines, hotels and travel agencies must be available 24/7 on any channel the customer wants to use at that time. Messaging apps from WhatsApp, Facebook and WeChat, among others, have popped up almost nowhere and now have billions of users across the globe.

Like many new technologies, messaging applications have started as a way for people to interact. But now these apps provide a way for companies to talk directly to consumers. Facebook told investors earlier this year that "we now have 10 billion messages sent between people and companies every month."

Increasingly, interactions between consumers and companies are automated, powered by a chatbot. Chatbots in the airline industry have started as pages of automated FAQs, a tool that could further enhance the efficiency of customer service teams by preparing a chatbot to identify and answer the most obvious questions.

The landscape of chatbots is changing, and chatbots are able to "learn" much more. Connecting chatbot technology to internal data sources and stratifying them into some machine learning systems allow robots to improve over time, learning more about how to best answer the questions they receive.

As a result, a chatbot that can answer frequently asked questions from the FAQ lists is now elementary. Many travel companies now use boxes for sale of top-level products and cross-selling.

At Amadeus, he worked with Malaysia Airlines at MHChat - designed to make it easy for travelers not only to ask questions, but also to book tickets and pay directly through Facebook Messenger.

Note: "Boats learn how to help customers book and manage trips."

If it is not online, it never happened

Social media influences travel booking

Travel photography has an existence almost as long as photography itself. In the most recent specialty sale, the Sotheby's auction house included an original print made in 1840 with the image of Notre-Dame in Paris. This print was made just one year after the photo was invented.

Today, smart phone cameras allow anyone to take and publish photos while on a trip. Frames, clicks, uploads, shares.

Specific photo sharing platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest host billions of images. "#Travel" has been used almost half a billion times on Instagram alone.

As in the case of chatbots, travel companies must use these platforms, because that is where their customers are. Instagram has about 500 million daily active users, of which 80% follow the activity of at least one company.

Images have always inspired travel, and many companies now connect their booking engine to an image or use the super-sophisticated addressing of offers made available by platforms to reach specific audiences viewing specific images. These advertising products will become more sophisticated over time, as platform owners try to monetize users.

Remember: "Photo platforms are not only inspiration, but they can generate conversion."

The rise

Sustainability and responsible travel

Tourism and aviation are facing a major consumer crisis in 2020 - struggling with the perception that industry is a negative player in the climate crisis scenario.

No one in the industry is ignorant about our responsibilities to the planet, but travelers not only question our response to the crisis, but also consider the sustainability factor when choosing how and with whom they will travel.

Booking.com Sustainable Travel Report 2019 revealed that 55% of its global sample of respondents has become more concerned in the last twelve months about the impact of their travel on the environment.

In October this year, the Swiss bank UBS found that one in five western travelers agreed to fly less because of environmental problems, in particular, but not exclusively, based on the idea of ​​"shame to fly". And, as in the booking.com survey, UBS noted that travelers' interest in such issues has increased in recent months.

The industry needs to pay attention to this, because travelers are following their reaction. Excessive tourism activities are a central element in the conversation about sustainability. Industry plays a role in supporting attempts by popular destinations to limit the number of visitors, while also ensuring that travelers have alternatives available.

Please note: "Many customers believe that traveling is harmful to the planet. The industry must provide factual information on the impact of travel and find ways to travel without pollution. "

One million ways to pay

Fintech innovation and alternative payment methods

Travel is a great ticket purchase process, and consumers expect the payment process to be perfect, fast and secure. With a selection of credit and / or debit cards in our physical wallet and applications such as PayPal that make up our digital wallet, travelers are expected to be able to choose how to pay for flights and hotels.

Expenses at the destination are a different matter - entry to museums, taxi or subway fares - tend to be smaller, spontaneous purchases. But again, consumer preferences dictate how travel companies operate at their destination, especially when these destinations attract an international audience. One of the reasons behind Uber's global expansion is the fact that the app serves as a de facto digital wallet for transportation when users are leaving home. Comfort prevails.

Most international hotel chains have realized that Chinese guests making purchases will want to use Alipay. However, there are more than 300 different ways of paying travelers. The fintech sector - financial technology - helps providers by offering payment gateways and easier access to the platforms that travelers use.

Travel agents - be they retail, business or online agents - have a role to play in helping travelers understand how payments work when they arrive at their destination.

Please note: "If the guest cannot pay for the product and service when offered, there is no point in offering it."

Go solo

Increases the share of individual trips

To be alone is a situation traditionally regarded as a temporary one until the appearance of the right person, although that perception changes and there is no longer such a big problem in being "only associated". The rate of marriages is declining, and the population alone - those who have never married and those who are divorced - is increasing in volume and as a percentage of the population.

Asia causes many consumer trends in travel, including this one. Agoda has made a report on individual travelers for 2018 and found that Millennials and Generation Z are the categories among which they are most likely to travel alone, while in the West, individual travel is more widespread among Boomers and Generation X.

The UK is experiencing a similar growth - ABTA found that in 2018, more than one in six people took their vacation on their own, an increase of three times in just seven years.

This year's individual travel trend is evolving according to the turmoil around bleisure (the combination of business travel and leisure travel). Almost all business trips are individual trips, so when these trips are extended and in the leisure time, then they become individual trips.

Skift found that almost half (47%) of all trips made by women are business trips. Any tourism company wishing to increase the share of business in the bleisure area must ensure that it can attract solo travelers as well as their male counterparts.

Please note: "Travel companies should provide services for people traveling alone rather than discriminating against them."

Cars cannot replace human touch

Humanity is crucial to the creation of experiences

Technology cannot exist without human interactions - the most sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms are just as good as the scientists who program them. Machine learning could lead us to autonomous technology, but even then people need to define how and what the machine is learning.

To be successful, a chatbot needs to know when the conversation needs to be transferred to a real agent. As chatbots move from service to sale, transfer protocols become critical to the success of the business. Abandoning online shopping carts in tourism is a current concern; abandoning the boxes could come soon.

Technologically enhanced hospitality is how hotels describe the interaction between guests, staff and technology in the service area. The role of technology must be perfect and travelers want to choose. Not everyone wants to check in with their smartphone, some guests enjoy getting tips from the concierge.

At Amadeus, we want technology to improve travel. The airport is a pivotal point even for the most frequent travelers. Self-service check-ins, biometric passports, face recognition, pre-authorization and queue management are specific examples of how technology is beginning to improve things for people.

Please note: "The main technology directive is to improve travel."

Friendly discussions

Voice Assistants for Travel Transformation in 2020

Accuracy rates for speech recognition and natural language processing are over 95% for several years. Today, products such as Google Home, Amazon Alexa and Apple HomeHub, as well as those offered specifically for the Chinese market, have made talking to a computer a way of life for tens of millions of people.

When these people travel, they expect a similar environment. Amazon has developed Alexa for Hospitality, aimed at large hotel chains and vacation rentals. This "simplifies tasks for guests, such as playing music, ordering towels, controlling the temperature or lighting in the room, finding local restaurants and attractions, telephone dialing and even check-out operations.".

Open systems, APIs and partnerships are the major technological trends that allow voice recognition to become operational in hotels, improving the customer experience and at the same time opening up the opportunity for higher level product sales, cross-selling and merchandising. Amadeus has an interest here - we work with companies such as Volara, which has developed proprietary software that integrates with natural language processing platforms to create a special tool for the hospitality industry.

To note: "As voice-based digital interactions become commonplace in homes, travelers will expect similar services from their providers."

Super-applications

Great potential to increase travel sales

The idea of ​​a super-travel app has been around for a while. We believe that this idea will take shape in the next few years, for two reasons - the open source / API / partnership landscape means that it is possible to integrate all the flows in a super-application, and the customers get used to the idea.

When booking.com asked 12.500 travelers from nearly 30 countries, 57% said they wanted "a single application for all your planning, booking and travel needs".

To some extent, the super-application already exists in the Asia-Pacific area, where e-commerce and messaging companies such as WeChat, Alipay and Meituan in China, Line in Japan and PayTM in India have built multi-purpose applications from which users can buy and you pay for flights and hotels the same way you order food in the package, a taxi or buy a shirt.

Note: "Travelers like the idea of ​​a super-application, so the industry should start thinking about how best to offer it."

Good weather friends

Why the old rules do not apply to travelers' loyalty

Travelers live in a world where they use multiple devices and use a multitude of channels, where access to travel content is widespread and fragmented, where consolidation is low and value is more important than price. In this context, loyalty to a particular brand or destination, when there are so many alternatives just a click away - seems to belong to another era.

But the technology can be used to encourage the loyalty of today's travelers. Even grassroots initiatives, such as ensuring that customer data platforms are ready for returning visitors, can create a loyal customer base by simply letting them know what's on offer.

Rewarding loyalty is an essential element for the airline industry - the frequent mindset of the airline collector still exists. Airlines use co-branding credit cards as a way to keep their travel and spending outside of travel within their sphere of influence, while online travel agencies use variations of "reserve XNUMX nights and get one free" for their programs. reward.

The technology can also be used to customize end-to-end travel for the consumer. Offering travelers what they want is an effective way to encourage loyalty through repeated bookings. Personalization works only if the data can be captured, analyzed and acted upon in a way that allows the right product to be displayed simultaneously for the right customer.

Remember: "Loyalty is delicate, but keeping customers is better than trying to win new ones."

Become true

VR will dramatically enhance the travel experience in 2020

Virtual reality is another trend that is likely to shift from the periphery into the spotlight in the near future. Offline retail agents have experimentally used virtual reality (VR) headphones in their premises, using them as a promotional vehicle for resorts and destinations.

Closer to home, Navitaire worked on a transactional VR, where users can explore a destination in the virtual space and book a trip without having to remove their helmet.

While this remains a case of using VR niche, more mature ones are emerging. Enterprise-grade VR technology - the software to produce it and the hardware that will display it - has a declining price, a trend similar to that seen over time for most consumer technologies. This means that tourism providers may start thinking about scaling up VR applications.

VR has the potential to revolutionize the in-flight entertainment system - giving passengers another option once they are on board. Airlines such as Iberia, Singapore Airlines and SunExpress have successfully tested, allowing passengers to use headphones to watch 3D movies or play games at 10.000 feet altitude.

VR providers are also working on ways to include an advertising component in applications, allowing airlines to promote their own products or open this channel to third parties.

Please note: "VR headsets are coming soon to a cabin or lounge near you."

Should the new technology scare us? Will technology change travel experiences, but will it also change travel senses? Do we travel for the peace and richness of our soul or for others?

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