Travel Technology; Opening new horizons.
The digital revolution has impacted almost everything in the world as we know it,’ says James McClure of Airbnb.
For the travel entities, technology is the underlying enabler of automation in the travel industry that connects travel agents to suppliers and chains. It enables travel agencies to book hotels, flights, transfers, tours, and more via an interface that is connected to hotel wholesalers, GDS systems, consolidators of travel services, distribution channels, channel managers, and more.
For me as a traveler, technology has offered incredible levels of solutions compared to the pre-digital age. Also the social media is another factor. Because of the technology more people are travelling than ever before as it encouraged the solo or group travelers to explore sooner, and in a more cost-effective way. Nowadays almost more than 70% of the travellers plan, manage and book travel online. So what has this meant for businesses in the travel industry? This means that technology enabled enormous opportunities for the big and small businesses in the travel sector, allowing consumers worldwide for example to easily book a safari park in Kenya for through online review sites, social media and the businesses’ own websites.
Now let’s talk numbers to get the potential of the travel market and why the high-tech companies are going to invest time and money there. The global travel technology market is forecast to grow by 14.2% over the the course of the next four years to $12.21 billion. The compound annual growth rate figure is currently forecast to hit 7.5% in 2015, on the back of a market size of $8.35 billion last year.
The predictions are part of a major study by Technavio Research which has examined the revenue generated by third party service providers such as Amadeus, Sabre and Travelport, as well as other vendors operating in the travel, tourism and hospitality sector such as Navitaire (which was recently snapped up by Amadeus for $830 million).
At last, while consumers have seen and felt the benefits from technology, companies have had to adapt, changing their business models to reflect the way we travel now. The mobile apps should be dominating & the websites have to be mobile friendly, the sales operators should be empowered with the latest technology to full automate the selling process specially on the basis of the customers’ profiles and past behaviour.
Those who have kept up with the changes are flourishing, others are struggling to keep up. But one thing is for sure: the travel industry has been well and truly transformed and the next few years with many travellers already seeking a more customised and “local” experience, truly personalised trips are already beginning to take off and technology will definitely will enable the travel market to make that happen.