Hundreds of the travel industry’s finest flocked to the Sheraton on the Park Hotel in Sydney last Friday to hear the latest trends at the TravelTech 2014 conference. We heard from some of the industry’s biggest players, including Flight Centre and Expedia, on the pain points they were seeing in the industry and what they were doing to ensure that they remained competitive in the sector.
Here are some of the key trends we saw at TravelTech 2014:
Mobile is big
It’s probably no secret that mobile is becoming an increasingly important medium for communication and sales. But speakers at TravelTech demonstrated just how big of a deal mobile has become; Skyscanner, a top 20 travel website, said it saw 50 percent of all traffic come from users on mobile devices. Fairfax, which has recently launched its own dedicated travel website, also said half of all visitors came from tablets and smartphones.
But experience is paramount
For those with mobile websites, experience is paramount. Google statistics indicated that, on mobile, 47 percent of those who visited a website expected it to load in two seconds or less. Even a one–second delay in load time could lose seven per cent of potential sales conversions.
That also means that content must be up to scratch. Websites not properly designed for a mobile experience are likely to see visitors hit their web page only to leave again almost immediately, losing sales.
Sticking out of the crowd is important
Consumers are drowning in information when it comes to travel. Between the airlines, travel agents, hoteliers, aggregators and everyone in between, there seems to be an infinite number of combinations for people researching and selecting their next holiday destination, and they can spend up to 53 days researching the one booking.
For everyone looking to get a piece of the action, websites must stick out from the crowd and draw the attention of consumers. That makes it all the more important to centre marketing strategies around competitive pricing, online performance (through search marketing and social networking) and compelling content, like video.
Innovation needs action
While innovation is vital to ensuring that your company is competitive and continuing to gain market share, it is important that any innovative technologies or business processes are actually rolled out across the company and maintained.
Flight Centre founder and CEO Graham Turner told the TravelTech conference that his company was continuing to see double-digit growth in the market despite a slowing appetite in some sectors. And that, he said, is because Flight Centre views itself as a sales and marketing organisation rather than a technology company. Innovation is important to it, but only to an extent as it helps the company become more efficient and productive.
If you missed the conference or if you’re interested in learning more about how you can remain competitive and how the use of video in the travel industry can accelerate your marketing efforts, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also check out our case study about Tourism Australia to see how they use online video as an effective communication tool to gain maximum exposure for Australia as a destination within the crowded tourism space.