Industry leaders gather to discuss technological developments in the travel industry
The TravelTech Innovation Summit 2016, organised by Luxatia International, featured industry leaders from across the travel and technology business sectors.
Representatives from a whole range of companies, including; Hotels.com, the Lonely Planet, Bla Bla Car, World Pay gathered in Amsterdam for two days of keynote speeches, networking and knowledge sharing.
Amsterdam was the perfect venue for such a summit. It’s quickly becoming one of the leading tech and ICT hubs (we even have our own office there). Also, with Schiphol Airport on its doorstep, it’s a key location in the travel industry, as well as one of Europe’s top destinations for a weekend city break.
A rapidly evolving marketplace
The travel industry has changed significantly in the last few years. Socio-economic factors have changed travellers preferences and budgets. But more than anything, the exponential growth in technology and its implications for consumers has radically shifted how customers search for, purchase and experience travel.
As Chairman for the summit, Brightec Business Development Manager Mike Spence introduced the conference by commenting on the key travel tech trends in his opening remarks.
Key travel tech trends for 2016
Alternative accommodation - Sites such as Kayak and Airbnb are becoming popular options and have disrupted the marketplace.
Personalisation - Big data is letting the travel industry personalise services for each individual.
VR Travel - VR allows armchair travellers to explore faraway destinations and can help the customer to make better travel decisions.
Virtual Travel Agent - Hipmunk is beta-testing a new feature, called Hello Hipmunk, that automatically finds and gives you a list of options via email.
Cloud computing - Cloud passports could allow passengers to travel without an actual passport.
Wearables - Wearables like the Disney MyMagic+ wristband system to “collect information from you online and when you visit the resort”.
Faster Wi-Fi - In-flight wi-fi means travellers can use their own devices for in-flight entertainment. Better wi-fi is also being installed at airports worldwide.
Automation Apps - For instance, customers can use apps to check-in whether at a hotel or for a flight.
Robotics - and AI Spencer at Schiphol airport is a customer-facing robot which can guide passengers to their correct departure gate.
These trends are fuelling growth and change at a phenomenal rate. For instance:
- Mobile bookings now account for 28% of all bookings in the UK travel industry.
- Mobile / tablet apps generated 57% of mobile bookings in the first quarter of 2016, up from 40% in Q3 2015.
- 52% of travellers use apps in destination, 94% researching ‘things to do’., 80% maps and directions, 75% searching for restaurants.
"Mobile / tablet apps generated 57% of mobile bookings in the first quarter of 2016, up from 40% in Q3 2015"
How do we keep up?
As the conference went on, these themes were discussed in more detail throughout the keynote sessions. Questions were raised, and attempted answers given on subjects such as:
- How do we keep up with ever-changing customer behaviour?
- How do we embrace mobile payment and mobile wallets?
- What are the future travel tech trends we should be looking out for?
- How can we predict customer behaviour and provide ever more personalised digital services?
A huge success
The summit was a huge success. Kalle Kekomaki, Project Director, Luxatia International said:
This year’s TravelTech Innovation Summit was a good start for our new annual event. The speakers did a wonderful job and it was great to see attendees coming together during the networking breaks.
Kalle also passed on his thanks to us for releasing Mike to chair the event:
Mike was an excellent Chairman. He was able to create a relaxing, easy-going atmosphere to the summit and to help us stick to the schedule throughout the event.
Get ahead with Brightec
If you’re in the travel industry and want to know how your organisation can keep ahead and embrace new travel technology, then get in touch and book a free digital consultation workshop with Brightec.