Moving Target: How Technology Changed the Travel Experience
Consumers interact much differently with travel and hospitality providers now than in years past, and those providers are beginning to notice the increasing dependency on mobile devices to quickly get information.
Whether a consumer is beginning to plan a trip, or ready to check into their pre-booked accommodation, they have become more reliant on technology than ever before.
- 35 percent of the world’s travelers use smartphones more when traveling than at home
- 97 percent of all business travelers said they always traveled with a mobile device
- 74 percent of travelers identified free in-room Wi-Fi as influential to the decision process
Our latest white paper, “Integrating Travel Technology Into the Customer Experience” details how consumers are responding to the latest in travel technology by focusing on three phases of travel: planning and booking, getting there and the destination experience.
By listening to thousands of English-language online conversations between November 2014 and May 2015, Cision’s Global Insights team identified key insights from those experiencing new travel technology first hand. The major findings underline how much providers can learn from their own customers as technology continues to shape the travel and hospitality industry.
Here are four ways travel and hospitality providers have already successfully integrated technology into products and services:
1. Wearable Technology
While most hotels and airlines have yet to adopt wearable technology, one major brand has: Disney. Its free MagicBands allow theme park and resort guests to open room doors, use a meal plan and swipe to pay for souvenir purchases. As a result, visitors spend less time worrying about losing valuables or room badges and more time enjoying their stay.
2. Passbook Compatibility
For any app developers hoping to stand out, take note: Passbook compatibility is key. By serving as a repository for everything from boarding passes to movie and sports tickets, Passbook makes being on the go a cinch for Apple iOS users. Apps using Passbook are more popular among travelers, finding them to be more efficient. Skip the scrutiny and make it easy for users to store everything in one place.
3. Open-Door Policies
Nothing is more frustrating than arriving at a hotel after a long trek only to find that your room isn’t ready. Starwood Hotels and Resorts achieved the most online discussion on this topic. By adopting a mobile app that enables visitors to use their smartphone as a room key or to check in, they’ve set the stage for those interested in increasing convenience.
4. In-Room Amenities
Years ago, you were lucky if your room had a mini fridge. Now, hotel chains are offering iPads and tablets as part of the in-room experience. What was once considered a luxury amenity is now making its way to being a must-have for those hoping to score high in guest services.
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