After two tough years, the United States is experiencing a revival of the travel industry. At the same time, this industry is going through a profound transformation toward offering travelers more digital, personalized, and unique experiences. How can technology help the rise of tourism?
According to the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, international tourism to the American continent displayed a strong performance through July 2022. During this period, visitor arrivals from other countries grew by 103% compared to 2021; when pandemic health measures were still in place.
In the United States, according to a statistical report by CEIC Data with information from the National Travel and Tourism Office, from January to May 2022 the country received more than 16.5 million international visitors. This figure almost triples the number of arrivals recorded during the same period in 2021, when it reached nearly 6 million.
However, it’s not all foreign tourism these days. According to Transportation Security Administration data published in Skift Research’s State of Travel 2022 report, passenger movement in the US is back to 95% of 2019 levels.
Meanwhile, the US Travel Association reports that domestic travel spending improved considerably during September and is now at its highest point since the pandemic began at 6% above 2019 levels.
New trends within the tourism sector
This new era of post-Covid tourism challenges 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 new demands for the industry, which must be updated 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 devices is not new in general. Still, 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 hands; anything that allows them to interact with their device and live a unique mobile experience will be more advantageous now 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 to be found quickly by travelers on that particular site at that precise moment. This way, the tour operator’s content will 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 that 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 to incorporate new technologies and 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 Tourism, having helped renowned companies such as MSC Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Iberostar, Vueling, and Latam Airlines, amongst other companies in the industry.
Multiplica has the capacity to tackle different kinds of projects, from their initial conception through every stage of progress. Therefore, I invite you to contact me.