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21 Oct 2016

BY Tom Parry


'Take inspiration from across sectors', urges consumer trends expert

Luxury travel businesses must take inspiration from innovations and trends occurring within other sectors if they are to flourish, a trends expert has urged.


Senior trend analyst at TrendWatching Victoria Loomes told delegates at the ttgluxury Seminar in London that watching how businesses across different marketplaces were catering to the changing attitudes and expectations of consumers would enable them to provide a more “cutting-edge” product.


“Knowing what your customer wants next won’t come from just asking them and people don’t always know what they’re looking for until it appears,” said Loomes. “One of the best ways of tapping into where your customer’s needs are headed is to follow the work of other businesses and that’s where you could find that nugget.”


During her presentation Loomes discussed a number of business ventures and campaigns that TrendWatching had been researching and how they could be implemented within the luxury travel marketplace in 2017.


Among the case studies featured was the Soundspot app from beer brand Skol and its use of what TrendWatching calls ‘Digital Breadcrumbing’ - a process whereby digital music or image files were “tagged” to a particular location.


“Many people go on holiday to create and recreate memories which they want to save and share with friends and family,” she said. “This technology would be perfect for a hotel to use during a guest’s wedding anniversary or birthday.”


Loomes also touched upon the popularity of PokemonGo, which adopts a similar technology as Soundspot, and although said she questioned whether people would still be playing the game next year, Loomes believed the app “proved people are interested in location-based games” and added that similar game offerings could fuel tourism in areas where they were being played.


Meanwhile, Loomes also spoke about the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and how it was already being adapted to suit the travel industry, citing the travel app, EasyThingy, which uses an AI algorithm to scrape users’ emails for flight bookings, hotel reservations and attraction ticket receipts to create a ready-made holiday itinerary.


She also added how the awarding of a Michelin star to what is a street-food ’hawker’ stall in Singapore (Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice And Noodle) showed how the definitions of what constitutes luxury were changing

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