As travel trends change, here's how to adapt to the market
A recent report by Bankrate showed that the economic crisis is forcing more travellers to save money on travel, with 80% having changed travel plans this year as interest rates continue to rise.
Those taking at least one trip this year are expecting to use cost-saving strategies, such as travelling for fewer days (26%), travelling a shorter distance (23%), driving instead of flying (26%) and engaging in cheaper activities (28%).
The study also found that 58% of those unlikely to take a summer holiday say they can’t afford it; that’s up by 10% from 2022.
With travellers' appetites and means changing, we asked travel industry experts from around the world for their tips on how agents can adapt in the current market.
Emilie Dumont, Digitrips
"While the boom might be fading out, agents and other types of B2B sellers still have a positive future: the appetite for travel is still there, just people’s needs and budgets are changing. The right technology and tools can help B2B and B2B2C sellers to showcase a broad range of travel options that appeal to all travel budgets. Now is the time to leverage capabilities of tech-enabled platforms to identify best deals and secure sales with fintech options, such as flexibility or BNPL (buy-now, pay-later) services, and get ahead in what is likely to be a return to a very competitive environment.”
Alex Gisbert, Fastpayhotels
“Everything points to an inevitable shift in traveller behaviour, but we knew that would happen didn’t we? It’s clear that as interest rates continue to rise and inflation still won’t come down disposable income will falter. Continue offering maximum amounts of relevant choices to travellers and do so through segmenting and harnessing data to better understand their needs.”
Janis Dzenis, WayAway
"Loyalty and discounts have become key elements in enticing cash-strapped travellers to book their next trip. While the hype of ‘revenge travel’ has waned, by maintaining an unwavering commitment to loyalty and providing discounts where feasible, travel suppliers and agencies can continue to attract customers while also weathering the shifting landscape of the travel industry.”
Alex Barros, BEONx
"Get travellers to book travel at a lower price point, but then maximise profitability by cross-selling other services. By offering personalised suggestions for add-ons or upgrades, travel suppliers can create a win-win situation for both themselves and their customers.”
Sebastien Leitner, Cloudbeds
“While non-refundable room rates might be a tempting solution, don’t just jump in there without considering all the options. Often the best thing is to offer both refundable and non-refundable, ideally using technology to consider which is more likely to be appealing for that traveller based on the channel they’re booking via, price ranges and types of rooms searched for, the source market, or any other details you have on the traveller.”
For more information, visit www.bankrate.com/finance/credit-cards/survey-summer-vacation/