To paraphrase Charles Dickens from his epic – A tale of two cities, it is the best of times and the worst of times. Best because technology has made our lives that much easier to live and the worst because technology has brought along with it fierce competition across industries, making the battle to survive grow stronger. In such times, the one thing that people are turning to is travel. Reports say that there has been an exponential rise in global travel and this shall continue for years to come.
To maximize on this trend, marketers need to bring themselves up to speed and know the global traveler better. Here are cues that act as a good starting point.
Mixing leisure travel with business travel is the new norm
Employers and employees are realizing the strong connection between wellness and travel, and the importance of travel to help achieve that quintessential work-life balance. Vacation shaming is a thing of the past. Most organizations are now encouraging their employees to take breaks and are allowing them the leeway to extend their business trips into pleasure holidays.
New age business travelers prefer making their own reservations
This brings us to our next point. Gone are the days when employers used to have an assigned travel desk that was responsible to make the reservations of the travel plans. Some organizations are allowing their employees to plan their itineraries, make their own reservations and then claim the expenses, up to a certain amount, upon return. In fact, stats show that more than 50% of employees do not mind paying for their own expenses when on a business trip if allowed to extend the trip as per as their choice.
Social media is their go-to guide when traveling
The new age global business traveler is always connected and prefers being that way. They require the infrastructure and the facilities to ensure that they are socially active – access to networks, Wi-Fi areas, infotainment through smart gadgets are all the rage. Social media is their guide and they would rather rely on online reviews than on their travel agents.
Younger generations prefer shared office spaces to crammed airport lounges
There was a time when airport lounges were frequented by business travelers and not tourists. Now the lounges offer the best of facilities, but still, travelers prefer a professional set-up and prefer shared office spaces. The kind of flexible set-ups that co-working spaces offer and the facilities that come with them are far superior to the noisy and unprofessional albeit luxurious set-ups of airport lounges. Even a small halt is best spent in a shared working space rather than an airport lounge.
Technology continues to be the biggest catalyst for change across industries and the travel industry is not any different. The traveler is changing thanks to technology and so are their preferences. Marketers need to revisit their strategies and adapt to the changes if they are to stay relevant.