Travel company will explore how to use technology to engage more effectively with customers online, reveals research released today (Monday 1 November) by WTM London and Travel Forward.
Around 700 senior executives from the travel industry were asked how their technology strategy has changed because of Covid. Six out of ten (60%) of the sample said that they were looking at ways to serve more customers online rather than in-person.
Nearly half (48%) will ramp up their interest in using technology to improve the overall experience for travelers, including offline interactions as well as digital conversations.
A slightly smaller percentage (41%) are will also exploring ways for technology to reduce costs.
The aims are interconnected. Increasing the options for travelers to self-serve, or be served online without having to contact the call centre, is a better customer experience. But this technology also reduces traffic to the contact centre, meaning staff can concentrate on handling queries which cannot be automated. Costs are not only reduced but also optimised.
Automation is an area where airlines, in particular, need to invest, according to McKinsey. It noted carriers should look at consumer-facing automation, such as self-serve kiosks at airports as well as back-office automation of tasks such as revenue accounting and invoicing.
Elsewhere, The WTM Industry Report also confirmed that Covid has changed the technology strategy landscape for almost every travel company. Less than one-in-ten companies (9%) said their tech strategy in the future would be the same as it was before the outbreak, with 3% actually saying they have come out of the pandemic and decided to put less emphasis on technology.
Simon Press, Exhibition Director, WTM London and Travel Forward, said: “Technology’s role is often distilled down into improving the customer experience online and offline while helping to reduce costs, and our report shows that these drivers will be even more prevalent as travel recovers.
“But perhaps the biggest takeaway is that around 90% of our sample said their tech strategy for 2022 has changed as a result of the outbreak, which is excellent news for anyone attending, exhibiting or even visiting WTM London and Travel Forward this year, where industry innovators are on hand to share their insights and expertise.”
WTM London and Travel Forward takes place over the next three days (Monday 1 – Wednesday 3 November) at ExCeL – London.
World Travel Market (WTM) Portfolio comprises leading travel events, online portals and virtual platforms across four continents, generating more than $7.5 billion of industry deals. The events are:
WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend three-day exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry. Around 50,000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international media visit ExCeL London every November, generating over £3.71 billion in travel industry contracts. In 2020, WTM Virtual facilitated 20,000+ meetings and held 42 live content sessions over the 3-days show.
Next live event: Monday 1 to 3 November 2021 at ExCel London
Next WTM Virtual: Monday 8 to 9 November 2021 – Virtual
Travel Forward London is the leading travel technology event, co-located with WTM London. Travel Forward is renowned for showcasing the next-generation technologies for the travel, tourism and hospitality industry. Over 19,000 travel officials and 150+ innovative solution providers attend for 3 days of cutting-edge insights, open debate and unrivalled networking opportunities. The combination of a 2-day conference, interactive exhibition and start-up showcase makes Travel Forward truly unique.
Next live event: Monday 1 November to Wednesday 3 November 2021 at ExCel London
Next Travel Forward Virtual: Monday 8 November to Tuesday 9 November 2021 – Virtual
London Travel Week, brought to you by WTM London, is the one-stop-shop for event hosts and visitors to be able to shape the next 12 months of travel together. The festival of events supports the global travel and tourism industry through capturing invaluable news and enhancing industry connections.
Next event: Friday 29 October – Friday 5 November 2021
WTM Virtual, is the WTM Portfolio virtual platform, created to offer global delegates the chance to arrange one-to-one virtual meetings, to do business, attend conference sessions and roundtables, take part in speed networking and more. WTM Virtual embrace the global leading travel shows in one platform.
WTM Latin America takes place annually in São Paulo and attracts around 19,000 tourism professionals during a three-day event. The show offers qualified content, as well as networking and business opportunities. In its ninth edition – the first 100% virtual – WTM Latin America followed its focus on effective business generation and reached the milestone of 4,200 meetings held between buyers, travel agents and exhibitors.
Next event: Tuesday 5 to Thursday 7 April 2022 – Expo Center Norte, SP, Brazil
WTM Africa launched in 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa. More than 6,000 travel industry professionals attend Africa’s leading inbound and outbound travel and tourism market. WTM Africa delivers a proven mix of hosted buyers, media, pre-scheduled appointments, on-site networking, evening functions and invited travel trade visitors.
Next event: Monday 11 to Wednesday 13 April 2022 – Cape Town International Convention Centre, Cape Town http://africa.wtm.com/
Arabian Travel Market (ATM), now on its 29th year, is the leading, international travel and tourism event in the Middle East for inbound and outbound tourism professionals. ATM 2021 showcased over 1,300 exhibiting companies from 62 countries across nine halls at Dubai World Trade Centre, with visitors from more than 140 countries over the four days. Arabian Travel Market is part of Arabian Travel Week. #IdeasArriveHere
Next in-person event: Sunday 8 to Wednesday 11 May 2022, Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai https://www.wtm.com/atm/en-gb.html
Arabian Travel Week is a festival of events taking place within and alongside Arabian Travel Market 2022. Providing a renewed focus for the Middle East’s travel and tourism sector, it includes ATM Virtual, ILTM Arabia, Arival Dubai, Influencers’ events and activations, as well as Travel Forward. It also features the ATM Buyer Forums, ATM Speed Networking Events as well as a series of country summits.
WTM Global Hub, is the new WTM Portfolio online portal created to connect and support travel industry professionals around the world. The resource hub offers the latest guidance and knowledge to help exhibitors, buyers and others in the travel industry face the challenges of the global coronavirus pandemic. WTM Portfolio is tapping into its global network of experts to create content for the hub. https://inside.exceptionalexperiences.net/
About RX (Reed Exhibitions)
RX is in the business of building businesses for individuals, communities and organisations. We elevate the power of face to face events by combining data and digital products to help customers learn about markets, source products and complete transactions at over 400 events in 22 countries across 43 industry sectors. RX is passionate about making a positive impact on society and is fully committed to creating an inclusive work environment for all our people. RX is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. www.rxglobal.com
RELX About RELX
RELX is a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. The Group serves customers in more than 180 countries and has offices in about 40 countries. It employs over 33,000 people, of whom almost half are in North America. The shares of RELX PLC, the parent company, are traded on the London, Amsterdam and New York Stock Exchanges using the following ticker symbols: London: REL; Amsterdam: REN; New York: RELX. The market capitalisation is approximately £33bn, €39bn, $47bn.*
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