By: Mirja Sickel, Vice President, Hospitality Distribution, Amadeus
2023 is proving to be an exciting year for travel sellers. Demand for trips remains strong as indicated by Amadeus Demand360® data, which shows that global hotel occupancies this year have largely been on par with pre-pandemic levels.
As travel returns, traveler expectations are evolving, and travel sellers need to be aware of this shift. In a recent paper, Catalysts for Change: Building the Hospitality Ecosystem of the Future, Amadeus spoke to experts across the travel industry to identify new trends in traveler behavior, and to lay out strategies that industry leaders can adopt to keep travelers at the center of everything they do.
The paper found that personalization and sustainability are now topping travel wish lists. Many consumers are prioritizing more sustainable journeys, flexibility, and customizable offers when they are booking travel. In addition, many travelers are relying on more modern digital tools to remove the friction from travel.
Travel sellers are a vital link between travelers and travel providers, as they stand at the front line of the travel industry. By establishing a human connection with travelers to understand their needs, travel sellers are uniquely placed to understand the changing landscape, stay ahead of the curve, and improve traveler satisfaction.
So, with changing traveler expectations in mind, how can travel sellers help the evolving ecosystem adapt? Here are five ways travel sellers can stay ahead of changing traveler expectations:
1. Access all content in one place
Fantasizing about the perfect journey is fun, but nothing can dampen a booking experience faster than having to contact a bunch of different providers in different places to find the best deal. Travel sellers can stand out by having access to the widest range of content possible – from flights to airport transfers, in-destination activities, car rentals, hotels and more – to help both corporate and leisure travelers find the most value and bring their perfect trip to life.
It’s not just the quantity of content that counts, but the quality, too. Having access to the description and photos of rooms, along with detailed pricing, attributes, and local currency information can improve traveler confidence and satisfaction, which in turn, can drive revenue. The flexibility of fares and business models will be crucial for travel sellers to serve evolving traveler needs.
2. Embrace an ecosystem approach
To help travelers find the best value and experiences, travel sellers can benefit from leveraging a technology partner such as Amadeus – working with hotel partners, transfer companies, insurance providers, in-destination tour companies and more to boost their retail capabilities. Greater collaboration can lead to exponential rewards and easier solutions when problems arise. Increasing interconnection between travel sellers and travel providers can create more value, and that’s why Amadeus is linking the hotel, mobility, and travel protection verticals into one single ecosystem – to meet the overlapping needs of travelers, travel sellers, and travel providers.
3. Help enterprises simplify group bookings
With more employees working remotely, small and medium-sized companies are interested in bringing their teams together more often. In turn, hotels have seen an increase in group travel bookings since the pandemic. Travel sellers and meeting planners are seeking help in this area to find appropriate meeting spaces and secure related hotel bookings in one place. With access to Amadeus’ instant online booking capabilities and larger accommodations network, travel sellers can play a key role in helping travel managers and business clients get together more easily and more frequently.
4. Make data work for you
With access to large amounts of data, travel sellers can look at emerging markets or new vendors, for example, to find creative ways to boost their business. Some travel providers are using highly targeted advertising to communicate new products, services and offers to travel sellers through the global distribution system (GDS), to ensure that travel sellers have the right information at the right time to improve revenue opportunities.
5. Maximize efficiency
After years of restrictions, travelers are interested in seeing the world, and now is the time for travel sellers to make the most of the latest technology available to improve their workflows so that they can focus on crafting the best journeys for each and every one of their clients. With the best content in one place, access to big data, and established partnerships throughout the ecosystem, travel sellers can serve more travelers better and faster than ever before.