At the invitation of Tobias Klöpf, Lead of the Young Travel Industry Club, Dr. Markus Heller, Managing Partner of Dr. Fried & Partner, gave a presentation at the ITB Young Professionals Day on the trends and major topics of the travel industry on 6 March 2019. Buzzwords such as customer centricity, digitalisation, value creation shift, platform economy, NDC, Package Travel Directive, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), blockchain and artificial intelligence were discussed in order to provide young tourism professionals with a better understanding.
Individualisation is the strategic focus of the travel industry and is already being demanded by the customer. In addition, media socialisation is changing the everyday lives of customers, because as traditional consumers are decreasing and digital immigrants are stagnating, the generation of digital natives is steadily gaining in importance. Hence, also in the travel industry, digitalisation is influencing almost all touchpoints along the customer journey.
In addition, the value creation logic of tour operators is changing sustainably, whereas Google has a lasting impact on the sales value creation. Moreover, online driven travel ecosystems are developing in distribution, as especially the example of Booking Holdings shows.
Dr. Heller also looked at the fundamental changes in the distribution model of legacy carriers, which are approaching the distribution models of low-cost carriers with the help of NDC and Direct Connects. Due to these innovations, legacy carriers will be able to individually design and price the flight product in the future. As a result, aggregation approaches are also changing.
In his presentation, Dr. Heller further highlighted the changes initiated by the new EU Package Travel Directive, which now divides the customer consultation into two parts – the neutral consulting phase and the booking and sales phase. Additionally, the European General Data Protection Regulation also results in additional work.
A further buzzword is the Blockchain technology, which largely makes it possible to dispense intermediaries in the travel industry and, for example, changes the sales processes in airline distribution. Moreover, the use of artificial intelligence is already increasing automation in the travel industry, for example by supporting customer service with chatbots, optimising hotel room allocations or through AI gate planning at airports, just to name a few examples.
We are delighted to have been able to contribute to the ITB Young Professionals Day and would like to thank Tobias Klöpf, Lead Young Travel Industry Club, for the invitation and the excellent organisation.
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For better readability, the generic masculine is used in these articles. The designations of persons used in these articles refer to all genders unless otherwise indicated.