What new technologies for the travel industry

6 trends for digital marketing in the travel industry

Why do we people travel? We travel because we want to experience something and gain experience. It is precisely these experiences and impressions that begin long before the actual journey begins. We are supported by our everyday technical companions who help us to organize our trip. So it is up to the various travel, tourism and mobility companies to use these possibilities of the new technologies in order to make every tour an individual overall experience - right from the start. Mobility is not seen as an offer today. Rather, we expect to travel as quickly and comfortably as possible as a matter of course. What are the six digital marketing trends that should not be ignored in the mobility industry in 2020?

# 1 travelers rely on reviews

Today, travelers want to know exactly what to expect in advance: 96 percent rely on user-generated reviews when booking a trip online. Whether it's a city trip, private vacation or business trip: We read text reviews, look at photos and exchange ideas with other travelers. Finally, if the trip can be booked directly on the same website without any detours, that is a real added value.

Nowadays, evaluations and the exchange of experiences take place very directly on the social web. A transparent and open social media strategy helps to get in touch with potential customers. This includes social listening, quick and smart reactions to comments on social media channels and careful use of user-generated content for digital marketing in the travel industry

# 2 The travel experience begins with visual search

Ben Silbermann, CEO of Pinterest, points out an emerging trend in digital search: “The future of search will be about images, not search terms.” 62 percent of millennials prefer a visual search over any other search method. This so-called visual search is a technology for analyzing and identifying objects within an image or photo in order to find related content in real time.

Everything revolves around inspiration: A travel experience often begins with the thought or the ideal of a dream destination and thus with the associated search for images and photos in social networks such as Instagram or Pinterest. This first step in travel planning - inspiration - must be used by travel companies to give their customers the best possible experience. The airline EasyJet has developed a mobile application that picks up travelers precisely at this point: Look & Book offers a function that customers can use to book a trip directly. All they have to do is upload a picture or screenshot of their dream destination, which they found on Instagram, for example. The app analyzes the image using cognitive services and immediately offers suitable flights for booking. Another click and the trip is booked. This example shows how user-generated content can be combined with the capabilities of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to create a seamless experience - starting with the inspiration of the traveler.

# 3 Tell a story, not a marketing campaign

Nobody wants to read marketing texts that want to sell something. Everyone likes to hear stories. A good example of this are the stories recently published by Eurowings under the title “Horizons”. At the content hub, which is independent of the industry and competitors, interested parties can find inspiring content on the subject of travel. For Eurowings this means sustainable traffic, loads of enthusiastic visitors to the website - and significantly more bookings. At the same time, customers benefit from authentic and inspiring travel content that helps them research and plan their trip. Various formats such as reports, listicles (articles that are published in the form of a list) or travel routes are also adapted to the needs of the user through personalization.

# 4 Voice control - you tell us what you want and we make it happen

What began with simple voice recognition at the start of a search query has developed into a new way of seamless travel experiences for vacationers. Today, voice control helps us, for example, when checking in: Instead of clicking through a website, we simply communicate with our voice assistant or smartphone - the AI ​​does the rest.

Initial implementations show how voice control and intelligent devices can contribute to a new travel experience: Expedia has provided an Alexa skill that helps travelers organize their trips by offering the latest flight updates, check-in functions or a rental car. KLM supports its passengers with an interactive and voice-controlled packing assistant for Google Home devices. The Voice App compiles a packing list based on weather forecasts, personal preferences and the duration of the trip. Voice control helps travelers find information anytime, anywhere. She also helps with various promotions during the trip to minimize the time spent on organizational tasks. Marketing travel industry mountain

# 5 The rise of intelligent chatbots

Messaging services such as WhatsApp, Messenger or WeChat have become more and more popular in recent years and are now more than just an alternative to social networks such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. These channels allow travel companies to communicate with their customers in a new and very personal way. At the same time, however, they increase the need for intelligent solutions for handling their customer service inquiries. For this reason, around 40 percent of the big brands will be using chatbots by 2020.

Chatbots support companies in customer communication by providing instant feedback and customer service regardless of language, time or place. This is particularly important in the travel industry. The frustrating experiences of conversations with a first-generation chatbot are now turning into a really useful and personalized conversation thanks to artificial intelligence. For example, KAYAK has introduced an intelligent messenger service that allows users to plan, filter, explore, book and manage trips - directly from the chatbot in Facebook Messenger or Slack. However, AI-powered chatbots aren't just about providing customer service without waiting: their real strength lies in identifying user needs and behavior.

# 6 From the flood of apps to a transparent mobility ecosystem thanks to blockchain

Many travelers are dependent on the mobility offerings of the respective destination at their holiday destination. The question “How do I get to my desired destination as quickly as possible?” Accompanies us especially in a foreign city. More and more people - regardless of whether they are on holiday or in everyday life at home - are therefore using various types of public transport such as urban bus companies, local and long-distance transport companies, e-scooters, car sharing, bike rentals and train connections. But we often pay for the desired degree of flexibility in mobility with a flood of applications and different user profiles. For mobility companies, this diverse landscape of options is becoming a new challenge when it comes to offering customers the best travel option as an overall experience across a wide variety of modes of transport.

DB System GmbH - digital partner for IT, research and innovation within the DB Group - is now breaking new ground together with IBM by creating a transparent, open and distributed business network between the various mobility providers. This is made possible with the help of blockchain technology. So-called smart contracts - i.e. directly integrated business logics - ensure that ticket revenues, for example, are properly distributed between all the different transport providers. This ecosystem grants the customer a consistent travel experience and works across city and country borders.

Conclusion: The travel industry is in the midst of digital change

A trip will not be completely digitalized as a product that quickly, but the trends presented show very clearly that the digital transformation in mobility and tourism has long been in full swing. It is therefore becoming more and more important for companies in the industry to put the entire customer journey to the test: At which points can offers with digital technologies and artificial intelligence be even better designed for customers? Where does the opening of portals to distributed systems help in creating an ecosystem? It is clear that tomorrow's mobility will require new business models that focus on the individual traveler with a diverse range of options.