The Future of Travel Commerce: Five Key Trends

David Ross
November 13, 2023
4 mins

Post-pandemic, the travel and hospitality industry is experiencing a resurgence like never before. People are eager to explore the world again, and the statistics prove it. But the travel experience is no longer about just booking a plane ticket; the travel industry, thanks to technology, is rapidly evolving. In this blog, we’ll explore the five key trends that are shaping the future of travel commerce.

1. Hyper-personalization: making every trip unique

For years, personalization has been identified as the route to transforming customer experiences and consequently, engagement. However, true hyper-personalization, where each traveller’s journey is unique and tailored to them specifically, has been challenging. Why? Because creating personalized experiences at scale has been a struggle. That’s where Generative AI comes in.

Generative AI is a game-changer for travel brands. It enables the generation of rich and relevant personalized itineraries tailored to each traveller; personalized recommendations for activities and excursions, travel guides, and real-time support during the trip. Customers love this. In fact, a staggering 71% of them expect personalized interactions from brands, and 76% of them get frustrated when it doesn’t happen. Personalization has a big impact on conversion rates too, with 46% of customers saying they spend more when given a personalized experience.

2. Reacting quickly to unplanned events

Travel plans can sometimes be derailed by unexpected events like natural disasters or property fires. For marketers, this can mean months of work on a campaign that is suddenly no longer relevant. But with Generative AI, you can pivot and adapt rapidly. You can create new content experiences, localize, and translate campaigns within seconds. This is a game-changer when dealing with unforeseen disruptions.

And not only disruptions, reactivity is also paramount with shifts in travel behavior — for example, business travelers extending their trips for leisure, or poor weather leading to last-minute bookings as travelers seek some winter sun. Generative AI helps you seize these opportunities by speeding up the content creation process, allowing travel and hospitality brands to differentiate from competition and consistently remain relevant.

3. Using data to delight travelers

Data is gold in the travel industry. But using data smartly is what makes the difference. Generative AI can use the rich data you already have to train AI models with context — which is key to delivering truly intuitive travel experiences.

Be leveraging AI, you can engage travellers with inspirational content on new destinations, offerings and relevant activities and excursions. Once a traveler is ready to book their vacation, you can provide further contextual recommendations based on, for example, party size, budget, and past preferences. During the trip, AI-powered chatbots can serve as travel assistants, offering real-time support and helpful suggestions based on the current situation.

4. Creating efficient workplaces

You might be wondering how to get started with Generative AI and we’re happy to tell you that it doesn’t require underdoing a big transformation project. It’s about finding the pain points in your workflow and identifying where AI can help. What takes too long? What could be better for your customers? Start there.

Don’t go it alone. Look for technology partners who understand your challenges and provide specific services to seamless integrate into your workflows. Make sure your AI investments are contextually aware, tailored for your industry.

The democratization of Generative AI means it’s accessible to all, regardless of the size of your organization. Smaller companies can use these technologies to compete with larger ones, providing unique experiences at an unprecedented scale.

5. Have fun with AI

Lastly, don’t be afraid to explore AI. Book demos, experiment with tools to generate content on your site, and take an incremental approach. AI should be part of your natural workflow, making your work easier and more efficient.

For more tips on implementing AI into your content creation process, take a few tips from our blog: ‘Five Steps to Developing and Executing a Successful AI-Driven Content Strategy’.

In conclusion, the future of travel commerce is being shaped by Generative AI. It’s making hyper-personalization possible, enabling reactivity to unplanned events, using data to delight travellers, and creating more efficient workplaces. Embrace these trends, and you’ll be well-prepared to thrive in the exciting world of travel and hospitality.