Charleen Ring

Charleen Ring, Conference Producer of Digital Travel 2018, Worldwide Business Research, in an exclusive interview with Travel And Tour World, predicts how the travel industry will reap benefits from digital transformation, consumer personalisation and simpler process implementation.

Travel And Tour World – Which are some of the biggest challenges the travel industry may face due to digital bloom?

Charleen Ring: Over the next few years, travel companies will continue to think of new and exciting ways to harness power to proven E-commerce and digital strategies to sell directly to their target customers. To facilitate this, travel companies are looking to test transformative technologies to help them fully understand the importance of customer personalisation and boost their omnichannel marketing strategies. While investigating these technologies, there are a few challenges that travel companies will have to keep an eye on to make sure they’re working in the right direction- completely mastering personalisation (through AI and machine learning), enhancing customer experience through their digital channels, and establishing the right technology partnerships to get a better grasp on their data.


Travel And Tour World: What steps are taken by the travel industry to foster digital growth?

Charleen Ring: Travel companies are digitally inspired from a diverse set of sources. They are looking outside industry, analysing how retail companies have digitised different parts of their operations to ultimately improve customer experience. Again, these companies are looking for new ways to meet and exceed customer expectations. To address these growth areas, companies will work on getting a stronger grasp on digital engagement, to create and maintain a mobile-first mindset and continue to develop their online presence. There will be a growing trend among companies to use digital strategies to make their brands more responsive to the wants and desires of their customers.


Travel And Tour World: How technology will change the travel industry and consumer travel habits in 2018

Charleen Ring: Technology will continue to have a tremendous impact on the industry in 2018 because of how related it is to personalisation. Today’s customers are increasingly becoming digitally savvy. As everything from smartphones to smart homes becomes more ubiquitous – customers expect to have things at their fingertips. Because of this shift, travel companies have started to elevate their in-trip experience at every point. CX(Customer Experience) strategies will probably be the biggest thing on their radar as it becomes a more important brand differentiator for customers. A complete CX strategy, tied with easy to use loyalty programs will be the next thing travel companies will look at when trying to implement new technology with their brands. Furthermore, travel companies need to be a bit more responsive to customer behaviors.


Travel And Tour World: How will the emerging technologies like AI, robotics and cloud computing going to impact the travel industry?

Charleen Ring: Emerging technology will certainly have an impact on the industry in the future. However, companies are just figuring out how to truly leverage these items for their own use. It is important to think how this new technology will have an impact on personalisation. Travel companies have a ton of data – and they are still figuring out ways to capitalise on it. Once they figure it out, they’ll be able to create cross-device experiences that can optimise how you make travel plans and ultimately, what you do while you’re on a trip. For example, travel companies are looking to send promotional messages at the right time – imagine getting a deal on a flight or hotel, right when you are planning. You’re laying the foundation of where you want to go and what you want to do and then you get a deal that you can’t give up. That’s where travel companies need to work on and establish the predictive technology to help customers make purchasing decisions earlier in the process.


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