Amadeus introduces the ‘Amateur-Expert Traveller’
Revelations on an emerging breed of traveller presents many opportunities for the innovative travel agent
- Study finds that the “Amateur-Expert Traveller” will help reshape the travel industry in the post recessionary world
- 73% of industry professionals think Amateur-Expert Travellers create new opportunities for the travel business
Bangkok, Thailand (Asia Pacific), November 19, 2009 – Amadeus, a leading provider of technology and distribution solutions to the travel and tourism industry, has identified the Amateur-Expert Traveller – who is more knowledgeable, more adventurous and more likely to live in an emerging economy than ever before – and whose rise coincides with innovations in the trip experience and the growth of niche travel in the post-recessionary environment.
Based on primary research with 2,719 travel professionals and 30 thought-leaders and senior executives from companies such as Kayak, Forrester and Qatar Airways, the report highlights three significant developments:
· The Amateur-Expert Traveller: the average consumer has been empowered by the internet, and the dynamic of the relationship between travel companies and their customers is changing. 73% of industry professionals welcome the greater knowledge brought by user-generated content, which drives up customer expectations, and creates new opportunities for travel agents to share their expertise with increasingly adventurous travellers.
· The responsive journey: 62% of those surveyed think that the journey experience is ripe for technological innovation. The maturing of the mobile internet will give rise to massive innovation around the trip itself.
· All niches great and small: travel companies’ revenue streams are becoming more evenly spread over a wider range of products. The traditional 80/20 sales distribution curve no longer applies to 38% of respondents, for whom 80% of their revenues was contributed by 60% or more of their products. Similarly, niche travel offers present opportunities for travel companies. Those surveyed identified adventure travel (83%), religious travel (55%), and weddings (45%) as key growth areas for specialist holidays.
According to Ian Wheeler, Vice President, Marketing and Distribution, Amadeus: “The growing expertise of travellers has had a profound impact on the travel industry as the average consumer, empowered by the internet, is increasingly well-informed. But greater expectations are being embraced by the travel industry, and it’s spurring on a new wave of innovation in the wake of the recession.”
Innovation in new technologies across the whole travel experience will be a critical source of new services and revenue streams for travel companies. In the survey, one third of respondents think that virtual reality will soon have the biggest impact on the travel experience by matching holidaymakers with destinations much more accurately.
But virtual reality is just one of many different technologies that will shape our travel experience in the future. Yesterday, Amadeus presented a new Extreme Search solution, a search engine that transforms travel websites into a ‘traveller playground’ where consumers can explore and select their trip based on their desired holiday experience, rather than simply searching for flights along specific routes on exact dates. Driven by Amadeus’ ‘Extreme Search’ concept, travellers can ask: ‘Where can I go and what can I do, for the money I want to spend?’ and instantly find clear alternatives, on the same initial search page.
According to Wheeler; “You do not always enter a store looking for a blue shirt or a striped tie. In the same way, you do not always know if you want to go to
The rise of the BRIC economies
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In addition, while many industry watchers think the internet will take over the travel industry, 75% of industry experts think that we won’t all be booking our holidays online. As more of the world becomes accessible, we’ll still need the help of traditional travel agents to help us find that holiday that’s just a little bit more interesting. This is particularly true for the developing economies where a premium is placed on customer service and human interaction.
According to Wheeler: “The last year has been challenging - there’s no doubt about it. But we can clearly see the desire within the industry to grow, adapt, and innovate around the whole consumer experience.”
You can view the full report at www.amadeus.com/amateur-expert along with case studies of the new amateur-expert traveller.