February 13, 2016
The most successful travel startups will be the ones that are tech savvy, responsive to customer needs, and have the ability to remain flexible as the travel industry grows and changes in the near future. Anybody who plans to launch or has recently launched a startup must pay attention to emerging trends that may influence how things unfold in the travel industry over the next several months.
1. Travel Professionals Will Have to Contend with the Influence of the Travel Blogger
There’s no denying the influence of the travel blogger on the decision making process of potential tourists and travelers. When people want to make a purchase, they hit the internet, more specifically social media, to see what people have to say. This is probably even more true with the travel and hospitality industries. Because of this, travelers are frequently getting their information and recommendations from bloggers, rather than people in the travel industry. This has a lot to do with impressions. Bloggers are seen as those who want to inform, and travel industry professionals are seen as those who want to sell.
In order to counteract this in 2016, travel startups will need to focus intensely on social media marketing. This means blogging, and producing other content that is created to inform and educate followers, not simply to sell travel packages.
2. Travel Startups Will Need to Consider Mobile in All Things
The importance of being active on social media and content marketing was mentioned above. This is the first area in which travel professionals need to begin thinking about mobile. However, it isn’t the last. Professional travel company representatives must also keep in mind the extent to which travelers rely on staying connected. So much so, that when educating consumers about the areas in which they will be traveling, information about wi-fi hotspots and potential connectivity problems in certain areas. This information will be immensely useful to travelers who plan to use apps to pull up local city maps or to arrange transportation.
3. The Emerging Popularity of Alternative Accommodations Is Here to Stay
While the majority of travelers still prefer to stay in hotels, and this won’t change in the near future, an increasing number of travelers are interested in staying in alternative accommodations. This is why companies such as Airbnb are currently doing so well. A few of the more popular travel booking websites are starting to include alternatives to hotels in their search results. According to travel blogger, Jan, founder of The Crazy Tourist, “In order to remain competitive, other travel professionals may want to take this into consideration in the near future as well.”
4. The Millennial Traveler Is More Socially Aware Than Previous Generations
Millennials love to travel. They are also an extremely socially conscious demographic. This has a big influence on their purchasing decisions. For example, they may want to know whether or not the hotel they patronize in a foreign country pays fair wages to its workers. They are also very likely to be concerned about environmental issues, and may want to use as many green friendly transportation options as possible. They are also very interested in volunteerism and ecotourism. Considering the large amount of money this demographic has to spend on travel, anybody heading up a travel startup should take these preferences into consideration.
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