Spain is experiencing a reactivation of a key industry for its economy, after going through two particularly difficult years. In turn, the industry is going through a period of profound transformation to deliver more digital, tailored and unique experiences to travelers. How can technology help the resurgence of tourism?
According to the National Statistics Institute (INE), in the first quarter of the year almost 10 million foreign tourists visited Spain. This number represents a growth of 800% compared to the same period of 2021, when the sanitary measures due to the pandemic were still in force.
The reactivation of the tourism sector has already surpassed pre-pandemic figures. The country also recorded a sharp increase in tourism spending, reaching €11.9 billion, with an average of €1,257 per traveler and per stay, representing 15% more than in 2019.
Nevertheless, it is not all about foreign tourism at this time: the number of trips by Spanish residents increased by 110% in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the same period of the previous year.
New trends within the tourism sector
This new era of post-Covid tourism brings with it challenges for all members of the industry: traditional consumer behavior has changed.
These new habits are largely related to digital adoption, which has skyrocketed. Today’s tourists are looking for a unique experience that blends the best of the physical and virtual worlds, with as little friction as possible.
This change in the traveler’s mindset brings with it new demands for the industry, which must be updated in order not to lose competitiveness.
As technology has advanced, passengers no longer only use the Internet to book stays, transfers or attractions as in the past, and yet expect that all their activities be managed directly from their mobile device, just a click away.
So what must industry members keep in mind? Here are the five trends that will impact the immediate future of the travel industry.
1. Facilitate interoperability of Covid related information
While in many countries and areas of Europe Covid restrictions have eased, the situation varies according to local measures. For this reason, tour operators should provide reliable information regarding current health measures in a clear and accurate manner to help travelers make their experience as pleasant and safe as possible.
2. Go Mobile First
Users expect that everything can be solved in a convenient, simple and frictionless way from their mobile device is not new in general, but it is particularly true for the tourism sector.
The more solutions designed for this type of devices are offered, the better. This is not only for native mobile applications, but also for the correct adaptation of websites.
The digital experience is in the tourist’s hand, anything that allows them to interact with their device and live a unique mobile experience will be an advantage now more than ever.
3. Create content with Local SEO
Search engine positioning is essential for any option (hotel, gastronomic, commercial, etc.) to be found by users.
However, it is also necessary to bet on local SEO in the region, in order to be found quickly by travelers who are in that particular site, at that precise moment. In this way, the tour operator’s content will be able to stand out from the general results.
4. Digital Nomads + Unique experiences
The emergence of a new class of travelers, who continuously work while traveling the world, is a growing segment. This type of travel-workers value accommodations and services which allow them to stay connected at all times to meet their professional responsibilities. In addition to price and experience, places that offer a pleasant and comfortable stay with good Internet connectivity are a plus, making their services more popular.
5. Drive traffic into your own channel
Given that they are contracted through third-party aggregators, accommodations, transportation and car rental service providers (to cite a few examples) have no visibility into the behavior of their customers.
Therefore, providing exclusive discounts to those who directly contract services through your own websites not only allows you to get hold of the travelers’ data – who they are, how they interact and what their online behavior is like – it also helps you to have greater control over the entire purchase journey.
The future of the industry will be increasingly phygital. This means that services from the physical world will be enhanced with tools and experiences from the digital world. To succeed, it is key not simply to incorporate new technologies, but also to transform processes, offerings and services.
Knowing that this modernization path can be challenging for many organizations, Multiplica is the optimal ally when taking the next step. The company already has more than ten years of experience in the tourism sector, having helped renowned companies such as Iberostar, Catalonia Hoteles, Hoteles Meliá, Vueling, Volotea, Celebrity Cruises, Alza, Latam Airlines and MSC Cruceros, amongst other companies in the industry.
Multiplica has the capacity to tackle different kind of projects, from their initial conception through every stage of progress. Therefore, I invite you to contact me.