✈️ GO OR NO GO #15 : TourismTech ✈️
How are businesses in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry going to use technology moving forward to enhance the customer experience and ensure traveller safety in 2021?
“You create the disease, then you treat the disease and then you market the treatments of the disease.” It applies to pretty much everything related to the epidemic we are still experiencing in France and worldwide.
Here’s a glimpse of the market 👀 & the reason to continue believing in innovation.
📊 Key trends
The travel and tourism industry grew 3.5% in 2019, marking the ninth year of sizable growth. But, as we all know, 2020 was a year like nothing the travel industry had ever seen.
What might the recovery look like? What’s changing and what’s more likely to stay the same? Here are seven trends driving the future of the travel space.
An emphasis on local destinations [Source]
Consumers demand increased COVID-19 safety and cleanliness [Source]
Travelers go it alone [Source]
The Experience Economy [Source]
Travel tech adoption accelerates [Source]
Consumers blend business and leisure travel [Source]
The industry gets serious about sustainable travel [Source]
🌋 Problem: COVID-19
From 2019 to 2021 (and beyond 🌒 )
When COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, back in March, the travel and hospitality industries were among the sectors that were hit the hardest, having to navigate one of the worst crises in history. Several travel corporations and startups went through difficult lay-offs in the weeks and months to follow - most notably Airbnb and TripActions. The industry as a whole quickly realized that this pandemic would have lasting effects and change the way we travel for the foreseeable future.
No one could have anticipated what 2020 had in store for us. [A Timeline of COVID-19 Developments in 2020 by AJMC]
🇨🇳 First COVID-19 cases found in China
😷 Rise of COVID-19 cases
🚪Country closed their doors
🤝 UE make a deal
🚪Back to Lockdown 2-3-4-5... (Here is my most listened to song of 2020... #howdesperate)
First doses of vaccines
💀 International Tourism Highlights [Full Report]: Dead as Lockdown
✈️ The rise and fall of Donald Trump's $365 million airline [Source]
🚀 Solution: Post-COVID19, Welcome to TourismTech
The good news is that there are signs of recovery as we near the end of 2020 and look ahead to 2021. On the startup front, Airbnb’s long-awaited IPO is sure to give travel industry partners a tailwind, proving that despite a global pandemic, “getting away” is not just a luxury, but has rather become a necessity for many. Adding to this, the growing concept of “working from anywhere” is changing how we think of accommodations - being more than just a place where we sleep and get away for the weekend.
Mapped: Top Travel Tech Startups Around The Globe [Source]
Global tourism industry - statistics & facts [Source]
🙌 Top Actors
Tens of billions of dollars are flowing to travel startups from Venture Capital, CVC and travel players. Let’s find out who, what, when, where and why. With GONG and this newsletter, we want to help all travel entrepreneurs who are looking to raise money gain a bit more understanding of whom the most active investors in the space currently are.
Who is Investing in Travel Startups? [Source]
🇳🇿 The Seven Startups Who Are Designing A Better Future For Tourism [Source]
🇫🇷 Les startups travel en France [Source]
🇮🇸 Online Travel Startups in Iceland [Source]
🇬🇧 17 Travel Tech startups in the UK [Source]
Crunchbase - Travel startups list
In 2021, travel startups will not only play a large role in helping us adjust to the new normal and restore confidence in travel, but also challenge the fundamental ways of how we’ve thought about travel, which presents an exciting prospect - especially for early-stage investors.
We’ve listed out 12 travel startups below that are redefining the travel and hospitality space and that we think are worthwhile to keep an eye on in 2021.
Purchasing international data plans when traveling can be frustrating. Airalo is the world’s first eSIM store, that smartphone users can use to buy temporary mobile data plans when traveling abroad.
“Contactless” has been the theme of 2020 and will continue to be for at least the first part of 2021. With Ditto, your apps can sync directly with each other during outages, crashes, or in mobile not-spots.
Amenitiz, all the tools that any hotelier would need to run its property, centralized into a single, easy to use platform.
Meetings and events planning have become increasingly complicated. Troop aggregates thousands of data points, enabling corporate travel managers and meeting planners to select event destinations based on objective intelligence such as cost, travel time, ease of travel, visa requirements, and carbon footprint.
Allow consumers to take control of their digital identity by creating a reusable ID on their smartphones, can be shared multiple times with organizations on the Yoti platform.
In today’s environment, hotel brands need to take innovative approaches in order to increase their direct bookings. The Hotels Network enables hoteliers around the world to increase direct bookings by using predictive personalization to offer each guest a unique user experience. This enables hotel owners and marketers to change the messaging on their websites in real-time, personalizing the experience for website users.
Smooss helps travel companies (especially airlines) to increase revenue and improve customer experience thanks to tailor-made solutions designed on top of reservation systems.
As more employees work remotely, companies are finding it difficult to recognize and reward them. Blueboard's been created as a rewards platform to recognize top-performing employees.
Curious travellers want to experience and learn about different places in the world, however, there are many tour and travel experiences not within reach if you are unable to travel (for financial, time or physical reasons). Port enables travellers and working professionals to book on-demand remote guides around the world and receive live, interactive video calls to experience new destinations or attend events that they can't physically go to.
It’s safe to say that COVID-19 has changed the world of events with everything moving online. Hopin is an interactive web events company that allows hosts to create events where through video, quality connections can be made.
With Butler, convert hotel restaurants into delivery hubs.
cargo.one is a digital platform for freight forwarders to search, compare and book air freight capacities across airlines, attracting new business at lower cost and higher operational efficiency.
🍳 Straight from the Oven
Startups are indeed leaders in the TourismTech industry. But, old-fashioned big airlines companies and brands are trying their best to provide an impeccable service, even though a pandemic forces us to #stayathome. Airlines find themselves in a bit of a crossroad between funny and safe, in all of their campaigns.
Here is our selection:
🇸🇬 Changi Airport - A New Year. Renewed Resolutions [Source]
🇳🇴 Norwegian Cruise Line - Break Free [Source]
🏨 Marriott International - Joy is near [Source]
🏖 On The Beach - On The Beach [Source]
COVID-19 Airline Safety Awards [Source]
Airport Confidential: Inside the Strange World of Airline Cancellations [Source]
Qatar Airways Operates First-ever Fully vaccinated Flight [Source]
We looked at our anonymized booking data and found that offline channels still take a large chunk of booking volume #marketingtip
The Simple Reason Flying Is Going to Become Even More of a Nightmare [Source]
Why Omnichannel Marketing is Important for Tour Operators [Source]
Virtual experiences: considering it was the number one buzzword of 2020, quickly validated by the launch of Amazon Explore and Airbnb Online Experiences. John O’Sullivan from Depot Adventures has jumped on board with Amazon Explore, predicting that virtual tours will become a travel planning tool in the future. By dedicating 25% of his time to virtual experiences now, his tour company will be in an advantageous position if this does happen. (You can hear his full interview here)
TikTok: TikTok — a video sharing app from China — became a lockdown sensation last year as the younger generations made the most of staying home by showcasing their dancing skills, lip-syncing, pranks, reactions to viral TikTok videos, and 15-second stories. With #lifeathome content overwhelming the feed, there’s a unique opportunity for operators to stand out on the platform with travel-related videos — what many people are desperately craving more of right now since they can’t go anywhere themselves.
Facebook Ads: Last year, a few operators braved Facebook Advertising and ended up seeing astounding results, generating six figures in revenue for bookings with less than $1000 ad spend. But we highly doubt they experienced this level of success overnight. It all comes down to testing. What works for one operator may not work for another. So while you can learn all the tricks and what not to do, it’s best to get your hands dirty and see for yourself what content, ad format, and audience delivers the greatest results.
Blogging + Newsletter: With a well-maintained blog, you can establish authority as a destination expert, attract more visitors to your website, and best of all, boost SEO (search engine optimization). high-quality blog posts — posts that answer the audience’s questions thoroughly — drive more traffic, shares, and backlinks eventually. We’ve seen this first-hand on the Checkfront Blog (30 Day Tour Operator Challenge)
Local SEO by Google: With travellers out of the picture, local marketing has become one of the top tourism marketing trends for this year and last. Strategically, operators decided to pivot by encouraging locals to visit the tourist attractions they once avoided, explore their backyard, and fall in love with the little piece of the planet they often take for granted.
Digital Nomad: The New And Cool Trend Of Working From Paradise—Or Anywhere In The World [Source]
👉 More here: Top 5 Online Travel Marketing Trends in 2021 [Source]
We’re convinced that those travel companies that survived 2020/2021 by executing well through the toughest environment they will ever have to face, are very well positioned to excel and take off by the second half of 2021 as billions around the world start travelling again with the same enthusiasm and frenzy as they showed when buying toilet paper in early 2019.
2021: the year of tourism’s digital revolution [Source]
What will the future mobility looks life [Full Report]
Disrupting the Mobility Industry Through A Transparent Data Ecosystem – MVL Announces Coin Generation Event [Source]
Will the COVID-19 Vaccine cure all? [Source]
A "digital" Passport for everyone vaccinated
Mobility after COVID-19: the lure of travelling versus "flight-shaming" [Source: Deloitte]
Covid passports: What are different countries planning? [Source]
Coronavirus: Commission proposes a Digital Green Certificate [Source]
A Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Passport System Is Still Premature [Source]
🤩 GO or NOGO?
GO, GO, GO!
GDP and business travel spend is expected to bounce back in 2021, but recovery will be gradual due to a slow start to the national vaccination effort, a restrictive national travel policy, lagging business confidence and unprecedented debt levels, which will delay economic growth.