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Jan 20, 2018,  by Allianz Partners Business Insights

Brands changing their game to meet the demands of the new connected traveller

Faced with a new generation of connected travellers and their growing – and more elaborate – demands, brands in the travel sector are having to change the way they market their services.

A recent study carried out by Euromonitor International has identified the new "connected consumer" as one of eight main tendencies set to come into effect by 2030. Younger generations use connectivity – in particular via smartphones – in every aspect of their daily lives, for their work, purchases, entertainment and of course travel.

Euromonitor International’s Global Consumer Trends Survey 2017 has shown that the number of travel bookings carried out by smartphone has increased five times faster than the average for on-line reservations. The study also reveals that half of the world’s population used the Internet in 2017, and that this is set to reach 75% by 2030. Connected travel is therefore also expected to grow, with those in the travel sector forced to rethink their strategies to meet the needs of a new ultra-connected clientele that is as impatient as it is demanding.

 

Let consumers have their say

 

The Internet has fundamentally altered the balance of power between the consumer and traditional structures. Various social groups have taken on a sense of authority courtesy of the web, and according to the Euromonitor International study, connected consumers are more and more inclined to seek out the views of their peers on line, in the form of personal recommendations and evaluations posted by independent consumers, rather than being influenced by mass marketing.

Certain companies are ahead of the trend, with TripAdvisor getting on board as early as 2012. Others have learned how to benefit from the reputation of influential people on the web and social networks.  

 

Make the consumer the focus of their own experience

 

Connected consumers are already used to having access to products and services when and where they want, at the price of their choice, and are becoming even more demanding. Companies and brands of the future will have to leverage new technologies such as artificial intelligence to satisfy their needs, and nowhere more so than in the travel sector.

On-line travel agencies are already using personalised recommendations based on analyses of user data, with Booking.com, Expedia and Kayak all launching chatbots to get a more accurate idea of what their consumers want.

 

Authenticity using new technologies

 

One of the new overall tendencies in terms of travel is the search for "authenticity", with connected travellers looking for unique experiences and local guides. To meet these needs, brands can use new technologies to offer more original services, with Thomas Cook and Expedia designing digital journeys that give the consumer a foretaste of what they can expect at their destination courtesy of virtual reality. Meanwhile, a number of museums have implemented augmented reality systems.

Lastly, brands are having to pay greater attention to social networks, where connected consumers enjoy exchange opinions with their peers before, during and after their travels.

 

 

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