Travellers and trendsetters…. one direction?
Last week, World Travel Market strolled in through London’s gate and caught us with its incredibly large, powerful grip.
In it’s dust left us, and around 48,000 industry professionals, excited, inspired …. possibly a little overwhelmed? Not just by the individual and collective power of those in the travel industry, but by the rate at which digital, social and mobile have gained the influence to make or break them as a player in the tourism game.
Battling through the masses, our attention was focussed on the presentations that would share some insight on the pressing trends. We hit the ground running with an IFITT World Travel WorkshopWorkshop & Innovation summit and a reading of the Global Trends 2012 report on day one. Day two allocated SM, SEO, and mobile masterclasses and on day’s three and four we followed 36 speakers in 13 Social Travel Market presentations organised in collaboration with Gogobot and Siren Communications.
The content was innovative, cutting edge and extremely relevant, there was also far too much of it to compile in one blog post. So, we took some underlying themes that were recurrent across the board.
Simply put, we are now in the digital age, and innovation is the key to sustainable growth for those in the travel industry. More than ever, the power is in the hands of the consumer, but businesses can leverage this to create value in the form of personalised, unique experiences. Organisations are coming to see the value in listening, responding and collaborating with end users to create mutually beneficial results. The more we listen and learn, the more we realise we have an abundance of tools and techniques at our disposal to do so effectively.
Co-creation isn’t a new concept. Described in 2000 as a ‘trend of jointly creating products’, the theory has now become a visible reality across multiple industries. With thought leaders in the market presenting at WTM2012, we were treated to some spearheaded case studies. Take a look at the official YouTube channel for full recordings of the standout presentations introduced below.
Customers want to make choices that reflect their values. They also want to interact and transact in their preferred language and style. With mobile, they can. People are happy to collaborate, but that brands need to make it easy for them by giving them the tools to customise and adapt.
Professor of eTourism at Bournemouth University, Dimitrios Buhalis confirmed that the future is, in fact, about technological and personalised experiences. Bournemouth University is focusing on exploring the concept of ‘First Experiences’ and is developing a framework, with a focus on co-creation, to do so.
William Beckler, last minute.com’s Technologist and Director of innovation addressed the importance of keeping up with the changes and trends of your customer’s patterns. He also introduced the “not so secret” concept of Lean Innovation, and shared his perception that innovation is all about creating new experiences (not commodities). Beckler’s presentation challenged us to “get out of the building and change people’s lives”. An inspiring presentation to say the least.
“Marketing shouldn’t be tug of war, it should be like playing see-saw – give and take.” Allister Frost , CEO of Wild Orange Media, encourages tourism marketers to empower their customers. Global travellers are now able to create reviews, share photos and discuss experiences with others. Essentially, they are marketing to potential customers.
If consumer’s can’t find it – they’ll co-create it. So… who’s saving them the effort?
Inamo Restaurant offer their diners the ultimate interactive digital dining experience by blending innovation, novelty, technology & food – read more
Carlo Fontana of Lugano Hotel introduced us to High Tech for High Touch Guest Experiences. Every member of staff has access to an ipad, and they’ll tailor your stay delightfully read more
Visit Scotland– integrates tourism & technology constituents to create greater understanding across both.
What tools are being used?
CRMs – ‘always be one step ahead’ to create the best customer experience
“Work with bloggers, no matter how big or small your SM strategy is”- Debbie Hindle
Put multiple reviews and ratings on your site. Trust You has a widget
Stay in touch with consumers as they advance faster than ever before, and get in touch with us to share your takings from the global week that was – #case studies #tips …..