Amadeus for Startups had a very exciting and successful 2016. In our first full year of existence, we saw several distinct trends emerge within the travel space. While reliance on technology remains an important constant, extremely specialized technological needs are driving innovation and evolution within the travel startup ecosystem. To understand the trends, it’s first helpful to understand three distinct travel startup groups that partner with Amadeus, and what motivates them.
Specialized travel startups
Since the overall online market landscape is largely controlled by the big players, this startup group typically wants to enter the marketplace with a specialized offering, such as sustainability, volunteerism, specific ethnic group or regional targeting, or interest/activity-based travel.
We found – and truly believe – that the most interesting and innovative ideas live within this group. These startup entrepreneurs are guided by their personal experiences; they are often driven to solve pain points and/or enhance the overall travel experience in some way. Many startups in this category aim to succeed through partnerships with established mega-players; their goal is to provide technology that enhances the offer and better supports the traveler’s end-to-end experience.
Startups that deliver personalized utopia
One of the more interesting travel startup groups is using technology – data and artificial intelligence (AI) – to deliver a Utopian travel experience on an individualized basis. This technology will facilitate travel by feeding information to travelers in real-time via their smartphones, so they can access information and services anytime, anywhere.
Travel startup trends
Through our startup relationships, Amadeus has discovered that while our partners have very different and distinct business models and approaches, nearly all share a common connection to several important technology trends:
Mobile first only
This trend centers on building a mobile-only app experience. Forget about desk-bound personal computers; these entrepreneurs are building mobile apps that connect users via smartphones and mobile devices. Some startups will even bypass traditional website creation in favor of “app only” connections that let them instantly serve and support their customers, 24/7.
These startups are less concerned about the device their solution runs on, and more about creating an experience that delivers a genuine connection with the consumer. Our latest research report, “Online Travel 2020: Evolve, Expand or Expire,” describes these new travel sellers that handle complex trips while providing “a happy mix of digital and human interaction to create a personalized travel experience.”
Data & predictive analytics
These startups are using various data sets to provide value through personalization, tailored recommendations, relevant options, travel disruption mitigation, and management of the travel experience from start to finish.
Like a proverbial “general store” of travel, these entrepreneurs are focused on delighting consumers by providing everything they need under one roof. This enables travelers to save time and money – and enjoy their travels more – because their overall travel experience was taken care of from start to finish.
The future is bright
These are exciting times for travel. And Amadeus believes there’s still plenty of room for “the next big thing” when it comes to enhancing or improving what exists today – or creating complimentary solutions for tomorrow. Amadeus for Startups continues to grow, evolve and adapt our offerings as the trends shift. The more flexible we remain, the better positioned we are to help the startups who come to us for guidance, technology and support.
While not all startups will succeed, those that focus on providing greater relevance, faster results, timely assistance, and fulfilling experiences should be well-positioned to do so. In 2017, Amadeus for Startups looks forward to helping these travel startups launch, scale, pivot or partner through mutually meaningful relationships.
Are you ready to take your travel startup to the next level? If so, let’s connect!