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Mobile has become a key component of the in-destination experience for U.S. travelers today. From finding things to do, to spontaneous bookings, mobile apps and websites have a role to play at each part of the in-destination journey. Travel brands that can find a meaningful place in this mobile journey have a lot to gain.
In today’s environment, hoteliers can no longer sit idly by, complacent with the tech systems and hardware that they have been using for decades. Those that focus on tech in terms of the overall customer journey will not only delight guests, but also outpace competitors in sales and ROI.
Online travel agencies remain essential to the travel industry as consolidators of and clearinghouses for advertising dollars throughout the space. We do not see OTAs being removed from this position easily, but challenges are growing by the day.
As travelers’ desires change and concerns about the impacts of tourism grow, the role of destination marketing organizations is also evolving. Today, DMOs have more to think about than just marketing.
Amazon likely has a role to play in the future of travel distribution, marketing, or devices — if not all three. Travel leaders need to prepare today, or risk being caught flat-footed tomorrow.
Chinese outbound travel continues to boom and shows high potential for future growth. Travel brands and destinations need to understand the evolving behaviors and preferences of Chinese travelers in order to most effectively appeal to this market.
For all the growth and enhancements we have seen in hotel loyalty programs over the past few years, differing opinions among consumers and hotel owners with regards to the overall value and success of programs remain. Clearly, the road to fostering real consumer loyalty will be a challenging one. Hotel companies should ultimately focus on driving satisfaction and providing the best service so consumers choose their brand over others and recommend it to friends and family.
The relative spending power of affluent Americans makes them an attractive and strategic group for travel brands to target. The results of our second annual U.S. Affluent Traveler Survey help us understand key trends when it comes to their travel preferences, attitudes, and behaviors. Segmenting further by other characteristics allows us to create a more refined consumer portrait of such a lucrative, complex, and diverse group.
There is a tech arms race underway in the vacation rental market. As this space enters a new phase of growth and scale, the need for tech solutions is real, but not every company will succeed. Understand the vacation rental tech stack, its major players, and our outlook on where it’s all headed in this Analyst Session.
At the end of the day, it’s all about hospitality, but the vacation rental industry faces unique challenges in delivering on that promise. Technology will be key to providing an elevated guest experience across this fragmented market.
Hotel owners have their hands full with choosing the appropriate operating model, ensuring their properties are being run efficiently and effectively, and remaining innovative and thoughtful. Doing all of this in an increasingly complex environment can be challenging. Some will need the major brand chains' help, some won't.
Optimizing a fragmented and traditionally offline model is obviously going to take time. However, we expect key players in the tours and activities space to increasingly try new strategies not only to increase scale, access to distribution, and consumer reach, but also to enhance in-destination experiences for travelers and locals alike.