by WEX Travel
Accommodation is a key component of a trip for any type of traveler that can make or break the experience. Travelers are looking for an exacting experience both in how they choose and book a place to stay and in what they get when they reach their accommodation.
Understanding and staying ahead of the latest trends in how customers choose where to stay is key to winning customers with easy access to the perfect trip at the right price.
What are the key trends in air travel bookings?
Over recent years, many travelers are choosing to opt for DIY options when booking travel, searching online for the best deal on the various components of their trip from different providers. This allows travelers to search out exactly what they want at a price they are willing to pay.
This trend towards choosing only the components desired is increasingly becoming evident at a more micro level when booking accommodation. For example, when booking a hotel stay, travelers may want each element, such as breakfast, Wi-Fi or gym-access, broken down into separate components that they can choose from to create an exact experience.
Travel companies need to provide customers with flexible booking options where possible. While this can present challenges for companies in breaking up packages into options, it does allow increased access to data around these transactions that can be used to improve and personalise future targeting. It also allows companies to identify new revenue streams based on detailed insight into what travelers want.
Travel Agents Get Smarter
Whilst travelers may be seeking out DIY options, there is also an opposite trend emerging where travelers are looking to work with an agent who knows and understands their requirements and will take care of everything.
Out of this concierge-style service models are emerging where agents deliver a high level of service at every point in a customer’s experience as well as providing access to self-service technology to provide a highly personalised 24/7 service.
To meet the demands of these travelers, companies must invest in building long-term personalised relationships with customers. For travel companies, particularly those who do not have large number of traditional agents, a key part of achieving this is to employ technologies to facilitate this which helps to problem solve and aid effective communication.
The growth of the sharing economy in the travel space over the past couple of years is ushering in new opportunities for traditional providers to compete with these new players through product differentiation.
It can also be seen to be driving traditional travel companies towards diversifying into rentals (for example, Expedia’s acquisition of vacation rental specialist HomeAway in late-2015). This allows traditional players to both build market share and counter the threat of sharing economy companies.
Travel companies who embrace new trends, including moving towards open networks of accommodation rather than traditional closed networks, are better placed to compete in a more diversified marketplace.
Easy Access to the Perfect Trip at the Right Cost
Travelers are increasingly looking for an exacting experience and to curate their perfect trip with accommodation playing a key part in this. In addition travelers are often expecting a personalised experience from providers with service levels that meet their requirements.
Selecting a flexible and competitive supplier payment solution can help you win customers by providing access to the type of accommodation desired with flexible choices, competitive prices and the right level of service personalisation.
Download our mini-whitepaper ‘Win Customers By Offering Easy Access To The Right Accommodation’ for detailed insight into the key trends influencing travelers when selecting where to stay and for tips on choosing a supplier payment strategy that helps you offer customers what they want.
More Ways to Win Customers by Enhancing Supplier Payments
As a leading supplier of payment solutions to the travel industry, our experts have put together a whitepaper that summarizes the key trends shaping the industry today—and details how you can capitalize on these trends to evolve and win customers.
With a focus on the European marketplace, topics covered include:
- Factors influencing destination choices
- Commoditization of travel services
- Popularity of early booking & low deposit options
- Competition between metasearch, intermediaries and suppliers
- Continued success and growth of low cost carriers
Our whitepaper 4 Ways To Win Customers By Enhancing Supplier Payments explores these key trends shaping the travel industry today and gives easy to follow tips for enhancing supplier payments to win and keep customers. Download the whitepaper now.