Travel industry news

05 Nov 2018

BY Andrew Doherty


WTM 2018: 'Companies must cater to evolving needs'

Experts at the Travel Forward conference at WTM London discussed how travel companies could meet the demands and expectations of tomorrow’s traveller.

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At the Travel Forward conference, co-located at WTM London, a panel discussion focused on "meeting the demands and expectations of tomorrow’s traveller’.


Speaking at the session were Hair Nair, global senior vice president, Expedia Group Media Solution; Julia Lo Bo Bue-Said, chief executive, Advantage Travel Partnership and Tom Valentine, co-founder of Secret Escapes.


Nair said Expedia was using "access to a million data points’ to market to millennials.


"They travel often and want to go further afield. They want to have unique experiences and go off the beaten track," he added.


"They are also impatient - we’ve seen a 50% drop in conversions if a webpage takes more than two seconds to load."


He explained that companies must cater to evolving needs with being a "nuisance" as he referenced an Expedia project in conjunction with the Go Hawaii tourism board.


The project, which involved the use of facial recognition technology through the user’s laptop camera, tracked the viewer’s reactions when watching a destination video produced by the tourism board.


"At the end of the video, the client would be presented with a unique itinerary based on their reactions. As a result, conversion rates for Hawaii were 150% up.


Nair also advised companies to embrace change in order to thrive.


"The fact that this is the first year that Travel Forward was held at WTM London says a lot," he said. "Know your target market well - in doing so you will find things a lot less difficult."

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