Future of Travel Industry and the role of Big Data Analytics

The global travel industry is expected to grow to 10% of Global GDP by 2022, or an annual revenue of around $ 10 trillion. A massive industry that can become a lot more efficient when Big Data is thoroughly implemented in every aspect of travel. (source: Datafloq)

With this article, we will be taking an overview of how Big Data Analytics is improving customer experience and increasing business efficiency in the Travel industry.

They say ‘travel makes the world smaller and recent technology advancements only offers opportunities to make customer journeys more efficient and memorable. It is true that the increasing penetration of smart devices, improved internet speeds and plethora of social media platforms has brought unprecedented growth in the travel industry. With innumerable online travel portals and mobile apps helping to book flight tickets, holidays, hotels and comparing real time prices, travelers today are well-aware and well-informed on the wide variety of choices and services they can get from travel service providers, this is in turn demanding more in terms of customer experience and the quality of services.

While technology has brought in huge opportunities for travelers, it has also enabled the ‘smart’ travel service providers to explore ways and means to effectively utilise technology to overcome the challenges of competition, reach, service quality and customer preference. It is here the world of Big Data and Analytics will play an important part to enhance the customer journey (pun intended) and experiences

Let us look at how Big Data Analytics is improving customer experience and increasing business efficiency in this arena.

Every potential traveler leaves behind large quantity of data, about his/her preferences right from planning, researching, comparing, booking, cancellation, feedback etc., all this scattered across multiple devices and multiple streams. While an actual traveler leaves behind data from the moment he embarks, travel and disembarks from his/her journey. The real challenge now exists for the service providers to consolidate and utilize the data to help the business to further engage successfully with customers thus leading to a win – win situation.

Big Data Analytics can help ‘enhance’ Customer Experience:

  • By making travel more responsive and focused around the traveler’s personal preferences
  • Providing them with tailor made products and services to better suit their lifestyle and preferences.
  • Carefully aggregating customer reviews, feedback and recommendation to further optimize services and products.

Big Data Analytics can help ‘Improve’ Business Efficiencies:

Dynamic pricing policy. 

  • Replacing manual fare with intelligent automation, by gathering and analyzing real-time data from multiple sources.
  • Real time analysis of competitor’s pricing.
  • Predicting pricing trends for similar products and services, by analyzing the past and present data.

Optimised marketing and sales.

  • More targeted marketing campaigns, being delivered at the right time, place and through the right channel results in closer customer engagement and a better conversion rate.
  • Sending relevant real-time offers by enabling location tracking using GPS technology with data analytics.
  • Forecast and understand future demand patterns
  • Gaining insights into the most and least profitable products and services, thereby optimizing them to bring better return on investments.

Highlighting the above points its quite evident that Big Data has the potential to reshape the travel industry – by identifying consumer trends, travel patterns, best products and services etc. Thereby making a comprehensive Big Data Analytics strategy increasingly indispensable.

Though Big Data Analytics in the travel industry is still at its growing stage and whilst the industry is trying to overcome the challenges of finding analytics experts, affordable infrastructure and most importantly a cohesive data capture and utilization strategy. The opportunity cost to ignore these developments far outpace the challenges and considering the current pace of digital revolution, it is evident that the early adopters will have an upper edge. After all ‘the early bird does indeed catch the worm’!

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