How travelers expect technology to transform experiences?

Published on : Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Priceline Group, the world leader in online travel and related services operating six major brands including Booking.com, priceline.com, KAYAK, agoda.com, Rentalcars.com, and OpenTable, released the findings of its Intersection of Technology and Consumer Experiences survey. Aimed at discovering how technology is altering attitudes surrounding travel and dining, the survey revealed Americans’ desire for technology to transform how they experience the world. When asked how people would want to see technology take the friction out of travel, 42 percent said technology could solve the lengthy airplane boarding process, and, 41 percent would like to see technology help eliminate lost or misplaced luggage.

 

The research also highlights generational-specific travel trends and advances in technology that Americans are seeking. Key findings include:

 

Advances in Technology:

 

Paper and people free in 10 years?: Results revealed that 61 percent of Americans believe printing out paper copies of travel documents will be obsolete in 10 years, while 50 percent said asking a stranger for directions would be a thing of the past.

 

Seamless experience and artificial intelligence (AI): When considering a trip, 54 percent expressed a desire for a single integrated app encompassing planning, booking and ticketing across all modes of transportation, and 40 percent want a virtual assistant that automatically makes recommendations based on interest.

 

Mixed reviews on “black-hole trips”: As a testament to reliance on mobile, nearly 59 percent of respondents said that lack of access to cellular or internet connection would make them unwilling to visit a destination.

 

“We believe that people are looking for functional advances with technology in order to support their travel experiences, rather than redefining what travel actually is,” said Pepijn Rijvers, CMO of Booking.com. “These survey figures validate our hypothesis, and are in line with our approach to using technology to enhance our customer experience.”

 

Millennial Travel Trends:

 

Virtual reality for the “pre-experience”: Imagine your feet in the sand but from the couch. Almost half of millennials would use a virtual reality headset to preview a destination they are planning to travel to.

Mobile as key to spontaneity: 89 percent of millennials indicated that mobile technology has made them more likely to book activities or excursions during a trip as opposed to in advance, compared to 72 percent of all respondents.

Meals worth going cross-country for: Nearly a third (32 percent) of millennials indicated that they would travel more than a thousand miles for the best meal of their life.

 

 

Across its brands, The Priceline Group develops product enhancements aimed at solving some of the challenges expressed in this survey. Recently, Booking.com launched Booking Messages – a chat-inspired communication platform that enables customers and accommodation providers to effortlessly connect with each other from the moment a booking is made. In addition to being able to initiate any kind of conversation they’d like with the accommodation, all Booking.com customers around the world can now quickly and conveniently manage the most common stay-related requests in just a few taps. The Booking Messages interface features automatically pre-translated templates for certain predefined requests, including arranging check-in and check-out times, as well as questions about parking and bed preferences—all in real-time and with a familiar, chat-like interface. OpenTable also launched a Discover tab within their mobile app, which serves as a “concierge in your pocket.” This feature allows anyone to feel like a local, instantly connecting users to new dining experiences, restaurants with immediate availability and top rated establishments from both locals and OpenTable members.

 

 

“As technology continues to progress, we’ve seen a dramatic shift in how and what our customers demand when it comes to experiencing the world,” said Leslie Cafferty, Vice President, Global Communications for the Priceline Group. “This survey echoes these sentiments and indicates where the market is moving in terms of product and customer expectations.”

Source: The Priceline Group

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