How much research did you do before your last trip away? Recent research for Amadeus found that the answer to that question is closely linked to your generation. If you’re over 50, or between 30 and 49, you’re most likely to have used a single source, but if you’re between 16 and 29, you’re most likely to have used five or more sources in planning your trip. In the years ahead, as the Millennial generation forms a larger and more influential proportion of economically active adults, the trend to extensive and ongoing research around travel will become increasingly significant.
With more information than ever available to us, intelligent recommendation will be essential to make sense of all the data. Peer recommendations – of not just a restaurant, but the best dish to eat there, of great viewpoints and of exhilarating hikes – will be crucial and we will judge those recommendations critically based on our view of the reviewer. Enhanced search is already enabling us to identify vacation opportunities not just by choice of destination but by the key requirements we want from our time away. And there will still be a key role for experts – for travel agents – in guiding us through the cloud of information through their skills in sifting myriad recommendations and providing us with that which is most relevant to us.
Intelligent recommendation won’t be just about preparing for a trip, it will help us on the way as well. Our study showed a demand for personalised travel guides, most probably delivered via the mobile internet, providing us with real time advice – the hidden away cafe just off the street we’re standing on that offers our favourite cuisine. As this trend develops, it should enable us to get more out of our travels, whether on business or pleasure. Or both, and my next and final post in this series will look at the emerging trend of business tourism.