The Travel Industry in the Data Economy

June 2016

Today the importance of technological innovation in the travel industry is such that travel companies need to place it at the core of their business models in order not to depend overly on technology companies and not to be commoditised. In particular, technological changes are disrupting travellers’ consumer behaviour, with travel companies required to provide personalised travel experiences and mobile assistance to meet the expectations of the consumers of the data economy.

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Technology constantly disrupting travel

Technological innovation is constantly disrupting the travel industry changing travel consumer behaviour and forcing companies to change their business models.

The rise of big data and artificial intelligence       

After the rise of the online and then mobile channels, it is now the turn of big data analytics and artificial intelligence to have a deep impact on consumers and the competitive environment in the travel industry.

Personalisation of bookings and the travel experience  

The analysis of data on travel consumers’ preferences allows companies to offer them a higher level of personalisation during the booking process and the trip itself, increasing conversions and enhancing the travel experience.

“Chatbots” to offer bookings and assistance      

Over the next few years, travellers will increasingly interact with artificial intelligence agents, in the form of “chatbots” and virtual assistants, to seek assistance and make bookings.

Tech players challenge travel intermediaries      

The growing role of technology also means a more important role for technology players in travel, with companies such as Google, TripAdvisor and Facebook increasingly allowing travellers to complete bookings on their sites and following them during their trips, providing information and assistance.

Steady rise of the mobile channel           

The steady rise in popularity of mobile devices is having a strong impact in terms of both travel bookings and travel consumer behaviour. Apps and messaging services are expected to generate an increasing number of travel reservations.

From travel services to travel experiences          

As a result of the mobile, peer-to-peer and personalisation trends, travel consumers are today increasingly shifting from requiring services to experiences.


Key findings

Market Background

Half of the world population to use the internet by 2020
Asia Pacific accounts for half global internet users in 2015
Mobile web access booming worldwide
Asia Pacific leads mobile broadband subscriptions
Android operating system holds strong leadership in smartphones
Facebook most popular social medium globally
Whatsapp leads the rise of messaging apps
Rapid growth in big data technology expenditure

The Advent of Artificial Intelligence

Technology at the core of the travel industry
Data-driven vs human decisions
The rise of artificial intelligence in travel
Personalisation powered by big data analytics
Chatbots and virtual assistants: Powerful tools for travellers
New business models in the data economy

Competition Between Tech and Travel Players

Constant need of self-disruption for travel companies
Blurring boundaries between travel and tech players
Competition between OTAs and tech players heats up

The Mobile Disruptor

Mobile channel key disruptor in travel
Mobile web versus apps
Facebook: From consumer engagement to mobile sales
Messaging, from communication to booking tool

From Travel Services to Travel Experiences

Peer-to-peer services challenge corporations
From travel transactions to end-to-end travel experiences
A lifestyle brand positioning for
A personalised travel experience




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