The increasing speed of technological progress and changing consumer expectations make it more difficult than ever to predict the future of the tourism industry. However, looking at macroeconomic trends, one can see a clear direction of movement that can significantly change the industry as we know it. Trends favor end-users and organizations that, to paraphrase Darwin, "are the most adaptable to change."They will have a better chance to survive and thrive. As a former strategy consultant and public speaker on digital and technological trends, and now the manager of the venture startup Bionic, here are my predictions about the state of the industry by 2030.
1.Customers will get more choice and control.
As tech giants lead the way in developing products that deliver the best user experience, from Amazon with one-click purchases for every type of product to Uber with fast and easy delivery, our expectations continue to grow. Customers will want more in less time and with less effort. Millions of bookings analyzed by Bionic show that 65% of consumers book within 48 hours of their events. This will most likely reduce the time and reduce the difficulties in finding and booking at the destination.
2.Communication will become a commodity.
Since 2006, the tourism industry has been using the Public Transport Feed Specification, a standard for providing access to data for all industry stakeholders. Although it is unlikely that the rest of the tourism industry will receive a similar standard, communication between suppliers, sellers and customers will continue to expand. This is a natural development of the tourism industry, and it is likely that it will continue to empower consumers in decision-making and in general, facilitating the search and booking of service providers with a long tail or several categories at the same time. A number of APIs can provide access to a significant part of the offer. Many online travel agents have access to similar products, which makes branding, differentiation and customer experience more important for competition.
3.Customization will become even more important.
With an increase in the amount of data available, services capable of meaningfully presenting relevant data in a constructive way are likely to thrive. The more companies will be able to adapt their offers according to personal preferences, the more they will benefit. As for pre-sale preparation, they will be able to target the right audience for a convincing offer and encourage them to make individual trips for customers - from drawing up routes to choosing a package of services and flights.
4.Online channels will become seamless with offline channels
As augmented and virtual reality technologies improve, the price of such devices in this space will decrease significantly. Augmented reality and virtual reality will become a new way to get acquainted with destinations, travel and what you can do. As for the initial pre-purchase, it will be more exciting, approaching the "try before you buy" approach, as we have seen in retail over the past decade, with more and more brands using these features. See my article Commerce Trends for the Tourism Industry" for a more detailed discussion of this topic.
Obviously, we are moving towards allowing you to view reviews of each menu item or have a virtual guide who gives you tips wherever you are, using your wearable device. We, as consumers and service providers, will have better data to improve interaction. Those organizations that can provide a smoother online and offline experience can win big.
Although it is impossible to predict the future, trends indicate that the future of the industry may depend on further timely updating of relevant data and ensuring their availability across all channels to meet customer needs.