Tuesday, February 14, 2012

From Seven Wonders to Seven Traits of Future of Travel

 Travel industry is not only the economic barometer at modern society, it may also reflect consumers’ life enrichment, happiness index, or the human advancement overall. Modern technologies also empower travelers with knowledge, shared wisdom and more seamless total travel experience.

 Seven Wonders of World may not be the only hot destinations to enchant travelers these days, What are the future of travels lead to, who are the new generation of travelers,  and how airline & travel industry to embrace the changes to grasp the big opportunities in from of them, there’s excitement and myth of solving such a puzzle, here we brainstorm the seven traits of future of travel.

 1.  Sophisticated Modern Travelers

1) Conservative Travelers
The conservative travelers think travel as basic need, aiming to spend wisely,  they are typically skeptical of the value of new digital trends, sometimes to their detriment. But like all other travelers, they desire to have the smooth, economic travel experience, to visit family or take a trip via varies of reasons. Serve them well, they will become your loyal customers.

2) Travel Fashionistas
Travel fashionistas are motivated to see the world, visit the new places, explore the exotic destinations or the wonderland of nature, entertainment or shopping. Travelers are expected to become more adventurous in the future too. Since modern technology shape more knowledgeable travelers who will feel more confident about traveling to places lack of information previously.

3) Emerging Travelers
Not only will the traveler of the future be more knowledgeable and more willing to try new destinations, they will increasingly arrive from different countries. The emerging economy, the fast-growing worldwide middle class families, they enjoy seeing the world in the different ways, they take their journey for many reasons, for the new experience, the shopping spree, the spiritual journey, or medical needs.

Despite their diversity, the world’s new generation of travelers may also have much more in common. Segmenting them by similar motivation and behavior across geographical location may help companies overcome the complexities and perceive the future trend of travel and how to develop the new generation of travel service/products to achieve profitable global growth

4 ) Travel Digirati
The travel digirati truly understand how to drive value from a digital transformation. They are either digital natives to do everything online these days or digital immigrants learning fast to be the passionate digirati, from grocery shopping to travel planning & sharing via mobile and social networking, for them, every step of traveling has the digital footprint: they consume the digital collectives, they also create more context to excite and enrich travel communities. For travel industries, they could be your potential customer champions, may also become the intimidate brand destructors if not being serving well. 

5) Travel Amateur
Expert Traveler is much more knowledgeable about his or her destination and what to expect when they get there. They pursue the depth of travel experience instead of breath, may revisit the same destination with high level of personalized services, their expectations of service have diverged: they either expect a totally touch less online experience or they expect a very high level of personalized service.


2. Mobility –Always Connected Travelers

In a mature industry such as aviation, it is crucial to combine a seamless customer experience and loyalty program with the ability to differentiate. Mobile services give airlines new opportunities to achieve both. airlines are in prime position to enhance their customers’ experience and drive greater revenue seeking to demystify many of the new mobile technologies that will impact the industry in the immediate and medium term.

It is clear that travelers see the value that mobile services and information can add to their travel experience. It is now the responsibility of us all to understand and navigate the rapidly changing world of mobile in order to differentiate, secure customer loyalty and quickly adapt to new business model
  • Location based services  
  • Movement tracking
  • Advanced push notifications
  • Mobile payments, 
  • NFC – The integration of near field communication (NFC)
  • Advanced disruption management

3. Intelligent Travelers –Social & Personalized

Just as the Internet has empowered consumers with knowledge;  social networks, user-reviews and other Internet resources have, and will continue to, devolve to travelers the power of wisdom. Internet and mobile technology offers a new opportunity to personalize offers based on passenger history and future travel plans. Targeted promotions have the potential to provide more passenger specific offers that meet a customer’s preferences and provide incremental revenues to the airline.

For airlines, how to serve the new generation of intelligent travelers takes both attitude and aptitude:  Incorporate user-generated content will support multiple platforms, personalize web content to improve user experience,  mobile segment products to target niche interests and offer better value for money

4. Total Travel Experience

With competition and a dwindling passenger base heating up, airlines need to ramp up their delivery of the customer experience. And not just at the gate and on board—carriers need to understand their customers’ needs along the full spectrum of travel: from ticket purchase to destination arrival.    

  • Customer Touch Points
Covering the complete travel cycle – Mobile/Social applications should provide a full range of solutions across all aspects of the travel cycle.. Passengers could use a smart phone or tablet anywhere to be inspired, dream or plan a specific trip, also can manage travel proactively via digitized touch points during the journey: such as security checking Point at airport, entertainment point at airplane and the baggage tracking point at the trip. The expanded touch point may include: arranging a passenger pickup service, providing quick transport services for passengers to hotels, and offering assistance services at selected hotels, or even making integration with high speed rail services to help customers willing to pay for seamless travel.


  • Multi-Channel Customer Services
As airlines become more like traditional retailers, also as a technology company with wings, to provide multi-channel customer service via mobile/social application, which provides a unique opportunity to work with the passenger during every step of the travel cycle including planning, booking, on board, at the destination and during the post trip experience.


  • Self-Service 
Self-Service trends related to mobility, the economy, and variety-of choice spark new opportunities for airline operators to better engage elusive consumers. Learn how a converged self-service strategy that leverages preferences and proximity based interactions can differentiate services, lower costs and attract consumers.

In modern airport, the passengers enjoy more self-services such as self baggage drop, mobile-coupon/boarding pass, ancillary sales offer, passenger notification, location tracking, etc. Airport also becomes the facilitator with optimized resources: it will promote the sales promotion via multiple channels such as social network platform, collaborative airport ecosystem to connect with third party partners.


5. Loyalty Program-Digital Collectives

Customer Loyalty Programs (CLP) have come a long way from their early beginnings in the 1970’s, A differentiating Loyalty Program concept that is a true reflection of corporate aspirations about customer relationships

The aspirations include: 360 traveler view, personalized customer value, actionable feedback, win back, customer retention, and cross selling, RFM metrics, and soothe the Frequent Fly Club Loyalty Member’s Frustration Point:
  • Elite status has become less attractive
  • Member frustration with extra fees
  • Frustration over reward terms and conditions
  • Getting upgraded was more difficult

6. Future of Travel Agent

Statistically, it could cost the Airline about 10% of the sales through the travel agents, Airlines, particularly the US airlines, under severe cost pressure to drive down the cost of intermediation. It’s at moment of change to transform travel agent from the transactional as ‘airline distributors’ role into the travel or life style consultant to provide high-margin, customer tailored, personalized  travel service to the customers, increasingly focus on providing the best  solution to business clients The transformation takes vision, strategy and in-depth knowledge about travel value chain and eco-system.


 7. Air Travel Carbon & Energy Efficiency

According to data from the International Air Transport Association, total emissions for the airline industry stood at 649 million tons of CO2 in 2010, up 3.5 percent from the previous year. Airline is the challenging sector need to fight for both the high-fuel cost and carbon footprint.

Aircraft fuel economy, passenger load factor, seat density, freight share and distance are critical factors for accurate flight carbon measurement and management. The leading airlines create roadmap, set goals for, measurement, and report emissions per passenger per mile in addition to total emissions, also use data collected to make advanced analytics, to motivate and impact sustainable change,  improve fuel efficiency, and balance corporate social responsibility with revenue bottom line.

Aviation is working hard with a spectrum of activities to reduce environmental impact by experimenting alternative energy, biofuels are seen as one of the pillars to achieving this target

From seven wonder of nature to seven traits of travel, may the recovering economy re-kindle the passion for travels; may the adventurous spirit of travel stimulate economy further. 

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