In latest few years many of us have realized how easy it is to explore the world today and how cheap and fun it can be thanks to all those low-cost airlines, Booking.com, Airbnb and other great services that eliminate our dependency on travel agents and give each traveler certain freedom. Others have noticed that huge business potential in the travel industry and have come up with truly amazing ideas, apps, and online platforms. And yes, most of these products are actual startups. So what is hot right now? Why invest in the tourism market and how modern technologies are changing our perception of travel?
Do not be surprised by the fact that tourism market is the second fast-growing market in the world today: the number of people currently employed in tourism several times exceeds the number of those involved in machinery, mining, and financial services all together. Besides, they forecast positive growth of the travel segment within the nearest ten years. For now, the US and China are the top leaders in tourism spending, although both economies are stagnating. Not to mention many poorer countries where people are passionate about travel despite their low-income level: there is always something interesting even by the corner.
Another pretty obvious fact: travel becomes more and more personalized and customized. Thanks to digital technologies and online solutions, the whole customer philosophy has changed – people have evolved from ‘tourists’ to ‘travelers’. Now everyone is eager to feel like home in any part of the world. Therefore, personalization is all about trips with no stress, adapted to people’s preferences and including minimum communication during the ‘trip organization process’. Providers got the idea and now successfully suggest relevant products and services basing on travelers’ data about past experiences or analyzing their real-time behavior. So those startups that are new to the travel business should be aware of the two vital issues: 1) to get the client data faster than competitors will do that, 2) use it the right way.
The easier it becomes to travel, the higher is our passion for something extraordinary and truly exciting – people need real adventures. Hereby so-called experiential travel is in demand: now customers are offered to spend the whole day with locals, participate in traditional holidays, learn something new at specialized master classes etc. Travelers are no longer observers, they are community members.
Travel startups are mostly providers of the best price. All those sites-aggregators are growing in number every day and widely used by individual customers who no longer use travel agents’ services. You must have heard of at least several such startups. If not, check out TRIPMYDREAM, FlatPlane, Travelfinity, DreamCheaper.
Everything is going mobile, and so is travel industry. People appreciate their time and love their smartphones. That is why new travel startups should consider the release of their mobile app from the very beginning. It will bring double benefits for the new company: 1) boost brand awareness, 2) encourage potential customers for real action (buy a ticket, order a budget packaged tour, etc.).
Have you heard of wearable technologies? And what about wearables designed especially for travelers? This is exactly what they need! For example, iWatch can replace a boarding pass or a hotel room key. Wearable products for travelers represent a relatively new and innovative market niche that can be successfully filled with startup projects.
One more promising trend in the travel industry is tourism networking. Travelers enjoy sharing their experiences, both positive and negative. Companies-providers can also benefit from such information. Finally, both sides can interact with each other and contribute to the improvement of travel experience. So why not develop an interesting model of a social network for travelers with a proper monetization scheme?
While planning your summer trip, try to catch all the difficulties you face or some moments you would like to improve in travel planning. Who knows, maybe your idea will evolve into a great startup product.
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