Can the travel industry embrace the digital age?
ttgmena luxury, 04 Mar 2013 10:00
We live in an era of an overwhelming digital influx which has seeped its way into the travel trade industry. To deny this could be detrimental to luxury providers’ bottom lines, unless of course they take advantage of this new wave of opportunity that the Internet and the wider technology segment has to offer.
In fact, all sectors of the industry are being affected: from tour operators, travel agents, airlines, airports, hospitality providers as well as travel trade media and press companies. We too have noticed a great shift, and have responded through the use of numerous online platforms, including an interactive website, digital publications and our own iPad application.
Social media, too, plays an integral role in all of this; creating digital bridges between consumer and provider, and offering the opportunity for both to communicate directly with each other. But yet, we have found that some still have reservations for the online platforms, especially in the Middle East, with many stating that the region is slow on the up-take.
Surely, doesn’t this need to change? The very industry we find ourselves in is of course one of the ‘easier’ global industries to adopt these advances, where the general public wants to share their experiences on a digital platform, and of course, research the opportunities and offers available. Accessibility plays a key role in this, regardless of what segment of the travel industry you find yourselves in – the luxury traveller wishes to find unique experiences whereas the budget traveller seeks the cheaper deals. There are countless mobile applications and websites that offer this service and are often featured across media platforms.
No one knows with absolute certainty what innovations the future has in store for the travel industry, but one thing is certain – stakeholders need to embrace, and to some degree, forecast what trends will become available in the near future. More importantly, they need to invest in new technologies that they believe will be a sure-fire success with their customers, and ultimately, shows positive growth on the bottom line.