Rebooting Tourism: How Personalization & Technology Can Help The Travel Sector

COVID-19 has devastated the tourism industry. Airlines, hotels and independent operators all over the world are suffering and related businesses are being forced to close everyday. With many suggesting that things won’t get to a “new normal” until at least 2022, how can tourist dependent businesses adapt to post-pandemic life?

While things may not go back to what they were before, businesses dependent on tourism can regain a bit of control over their future. And one answer is personalization and technology. 

By utilizing tech that’s already available the travel sector and businesses dependent on tourism may be able to adapt. Here are a personalization and tech tactics that travel and tourism businesses can use to begin adapting to the “new normal”.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Personalized Communication

According to a survey conducted by Redpoint Global, 67% of American consumers have been frustrated by the Travel industry’s messaging throughout the pandemic. Being targeted with hotel offers when you cannot go anywhere is pretty frustrating. And something some Travel industry players should take some responsibility for. The same survey also says “only 24 percent of consumers believe that travel companies consistently deliver messaging pre-trip, during and post-trip.”

It is absolutely essential that Travel and Tourism businesses get this right when things improve.

For example, it is natural that some people will be desperate to get travelling again as soon as they can. But many people will be very wary, even when things are more “normal”. The wrong messaging has the potential to completely turn them off.  

Many customers will need messaging that reassures them that it is safe for them to travel and stay in hotels again. 

So personalized messaging that emphasises safety, while delivering offers that appeal to pent up demand, could yield great returns for hotels, tour operators and airlines that have been hit by the pandemic.

Actions You Can Take:

  • Use messaging that emphasises safety
  • Describe the measures you have taken to ensure safety
  • Use appealing offers to target pent up travel demand
  • Use different personalized messaging for more vulnerable groups

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Privacy Concerns

People like personalized experiences and do not mind giving brands they trust their personal data in exchange for a better user experience and strong incentives.

Post-pandemic travel is likely to involve a lot of data sharing. People are asked to install tracking apps and the Phuket sandbox even utilizes wearable technology to track movements.

In light of these measures it’s crucial that you can prove that you can be trusted with customer data. You need to tell people that your business handles data in an ethical manner that is compliant with data protection legislation like PDPA or GDPR. Also you should ensure that your information security measures are fit for purpose.

Actions You Can Take:

  • Tell your customers about your data protection policies
  • Conduct an information security audit
  • Be clear with your customers on what happens to their data at all times

Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

Using Tech To Keep Your Customers Safe

Seamless messaging pre-trip, during the trip and post-trip is essential.

Travellers need to stay informed, especially now. Even when we are all in the “new normal” people will need to be kept safe when they travel. As many tourists will not pay attention to local media when they travel; you need to tell them about potential risks. For example, if a new COVID cluster pops up near your hotel, a push notification alerting guests could keep them from unnecessary risk.

This technology can be used for other events and accidents and your customers will appreciate being informed.

It’s important not to alarm people. But it is crucial to give them the right information so they can assess risks and make their own decisions.

Actions You Can Take:

  • Keep your customers informed
  • Alert them to local risks they may be unaware of

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Talk to MAQE

MAQE specializes in helping companies to use technology to deliver engaging personalized experiences. If you are in the travel sector and need advice on how to give travelers a better experience, talk to us via [email protected].