According to a recent study, global revenue for travel and tourism decreased by 34.7% during 2020. In 2021, the industry saw a dramatic bounce-back, with an estimated 109 million people traveling for the holidays — a 184% increase from 2020.
Despite the comeback, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is still being felt, and it’s left many travel companies scrambling with how to incorporate travel innovations with newer technologies.
The Road to Recovery Begins Now
Travel has been one of the industries most affected by COVID-19, but it’s also been one of the most resilient due to travel companies embracing data-driven innovation.
One of the best examples is artificial intelligence and the ways the industry is using it to create better experiences for its customers.
According to another recent study, about 60% of all travel brands have already committed to AI, while 39% say they will do so within the next year. The implications of these new travel innovations and technologies are as vast as they are significant.
Data-driven technology is a natural evolution for the travel industry. Think about the sheer volume of personal information that you have to provide when booking a flight or planning a trip. All of the data is then in the hands of travel industry organizations who leverage it to learn more about their customers, what they want, and what they need.
Data-driven innovation can be used for a host of different reasons. Creating personalized offers for travel experiences is one example. As a company learns more about a customer, they can also offer personalized recommendations for what they may be interested in doing when they’re in a new city, thus increasing their enjoyment and improving the odds that they’ll want to book with that company again.
Data-driven innovation can also be used to improve business operations, helping them to maximize productivity and eliminate waste to increase their bottom line. One example is how hotel occupancy rates were heavily impacted by the pandemic. Even before the pandemic, hotels began to use apps as a marketing strategy to improve visibility. As a recovery method, those same apps are now a one-stop-shop for room service, reservations, and the overall guest experience.
Indeed, one of the major reasons why the travel industry is leading the way with post-COVID recovery has to do with their customer-focused approach. Customer experience is everything; it’s what transforms one-time customers into loyal ones.
By leveraging data to continuously improve the quality of that customer experience, the travel industry has been able to recover much faster than anticipated. It’s a strategy that will only become more prevalent as time goes on, and companies that embrace data-driven innovation to improve customer experiences will be set up for success now and for years to come.
Travel innovation can be an asset to the recovery of the industry. The best way to utilize it is for companies to remain flexible as it’s the most efficient way to quickly adapt to ever-changing trends and to capitalize on new opportunities as soon as you’re able to. For example, the new London Heathrow Airport app (or LHR) is a notable example of data-driven technology being used to not only recover from a travel downturn but also improve current processes. The LHR allows customers to track flights, reserve parking, shop, and even pre-order food and beverages from their phones. Therefore, by embracing the power of modern technology with open arms, travel innovation can be interactive, helpful, and enjoyable.
At DMI, we believe in the power of travel innovation to support the data and the needs of businesses today, so we can help build their vision for the future.
To find out more information about the travel industry recovery and the need for personalization and innovation, contact DMI today.