Thousands of exhibitors and attendees descended on London’s ExCel exhibition centre this week for World Travel Market 2016.
Bell Pottinger conducted online analysis throughout the three-day event to identify which digital trends were most talked about.
Top 10 digital trends:
1. Single-purpose apps
Simple, single-purpose apps are the way forward, according to Facebook, as consumers are finding it difficult to make decisions when they feel they’re being bombarded by information. Consumers prefer each app to have a single, specific purpose.
Facebook also says that video will be the leading content format on their platform over the next five years, agreeing with the general consensus that this is the direction media consumption will take moving forward.
3. Influencer marketing
Influencers are being used increasingly in marketing strategies, but are more effective when the partner brand finds an angle that works best for that influencer’s audience. “Don’t build links, build relationships,” says Skyscanner.
4. Brand collaborations
Unexpected brand collaborations are proving very popular with consumers. Look outside the travel industry for inspiration – for example, Tinder and Spotify collaborated to allow the dating app users to pick a song from Spotify to add to their profile.
5. Virtual reality
More travel and tourism companies, such as Thomas Cook and South African Tourism, are using virtual reality to showcase their products – the ‘look to book’ concept.
6. Personalisation and localisation
Consumers respond better to communications that are more relevant to them and their specific interests. Brands that can target consumers’ likes and preferences directly are more likely to be successful.
Snapchat is an effective channel for live broadcasts. With its full-screen video that opens instantly, Snapchat is an immersive platform and quicker to access than YouTube. Destinations such as Denmark, South Africa and Philadelphia, are making use of Snapchat geofilters to highlight events, such as festivals.
8. Computerised security fear
Consumers are less likely to trust machines than humans when it comes to security measures, such as airport checks, despite the statistics that prove the effectiveness of machines.
Chatbots – a computer programme designed to simulate an intelligent conversation with one or more human users via auditory or textual methods – provide a significant opportunity for the travel industry, to improve bookings, particularly for multi-day tours and during out of hours.
10. Changing behaviours
New online campaigns are changing the way consumers book travel. Airbnb is leading the way in terms of brand building and changing consumer behaviour with its ‘Don’t Go There. Live There’ campaign.