Business and leisure travellers naturally expect that the rapid improvement in technologyand connectivity should improve their experience when they travel. However, the realitycan be very different. Travel suppliers are increasing complexity through the unbundlingof their products and introduction of ancillary services, the Internet often provides aninsufficient means of navigating the vast array of travel options and only basic mobilefunctionality is available in most regions.
What will change in the future? Will large players such as Google make significantstrides to improve the travel search process? Will other global travel brands emergeto assist the consumer in not only booking their trip but inspiring them and offeringrelevant options when they are traveling?
Travelport engaged The Futures Company to conduct global research into the whole ofthe end to end travel process consumers undertake from inspiration to shopping andbooking to post trip evaluation.
The Internet has brought choice and information to all, but the vast quantity and in somecases poor quality of that information has left some feeling as though technology isa hindrance and therefore consumers are still largely using offline travel companies forsupport. Travelport's research revealed how, despite wanting greater choice, the timerequired to research options is the most frustrating part of booking travel. Whilst manywebsites concentrate on selling air and accommodation only, our research also indicatesthat travellers like to book multiple services and add-ons at the same time (e.g. insuranceto chauffeur transfers).
Travellers clearly need to feel they are getting a good price and in this area there is goodand bad news. Travel supplier unbundling of products has made price comparisonseven more difficult for consumers, with both business and leisure travellers strugglingto understand total trip costs that include not only air fare, but also baggage fees, etc.Some improvements are being made. Meta-search companies such as Sprice.com arehelping consumers by offering both choice and independent price comparisons to saveconsumers the time of trawling many different websites.
Globally, people are regularly engaging with friends and family through social networkingsites thereby increasing the influence on the choice of supplier and destination fortravel. No-one will deny the power of review sites such as TripAdvisor that are alreadywell used by travellers. However, travellers are increasingly looking for more personaladvice, so websites that offer suggestions from 'friends' are proving invaluable.
Travelport's research showed that consumers in certain regions are still looking for whatwould be considered basic messaging via their mobile devices to help them whilst they areon their journeys. At the other end of the scale, mobile services are emerging that allowusers to interact with others based in the same geographical location. Such interactionhappens on a real time basis and so is likely to drive global mobile penetration at aneven faster rate than the Internet via desktops. Countries such as India and China areexpected to skip the desktop-based revolution which requires a good broadband network,moving straight to the more readily available mobile Internet platform.
The emergence of the Well Connected Traveller is changing the face of travel commerce- for consumers, suppliers and everyone else involved in the travel value chain. Readon for further insights and trends from Travelport's global survey of travel consumersand prepare yourself for the next generation of the well connected travelers.
Download the complete report from Travelport
Logos, product and company names mentioned are the property of their respective owners.