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AI and booking systems top priorities for travel tech stacks

TravelTech Show

Travel industry set to increase investment in technology with AI and booking systems taking poll position in tech stacks as websites declared most effective at driving bookings.

Ahead of this year’s event, new data from TravelTech Show has revealed the key trends and priorities of travel companies. Most significantly, 62 per cent of travel buyer respondents said they expect their budgets to increase over the next 12 months with over a quarter (28 per cent) of increases expected to be by as much as 20 per cent.

AI looks set to take the lion’s share of those budgets with over half (56 per cent) stating they are planning to invest in it over the next year. Followed by booking and reservation systems for 32 per cent of respondents and mobile and apps for 20 per cent. In a similar vein, 80 per cent also stated they plan to increase their use of AI specifically in the year ahead. Nearly a third (32 per cent) expect to see it having the biggest impact on customer service and customer experience (CX), whilst almost a quarter (24 per cent) state it will add value to applying customer preferences to make targeted recommendations. A fifth (20 per cent) expect it to have the most impact on booking assistants.

Often seen as a key driver for bookings social media looks set to be in potential decline as websites were voted as the best for driving bookings (40 per cent), followed by OTAs at 20 per cent, and search engines and social media sharing joint third position for 16 per cent of buyers.

With an ever-increasing number of tools and platforms coming to the market, whilst operators are aware of what the options are, they are also keeping a keen eye on where and how they are having an impact on operations, revenue and profitability. Over two thirds (68 per cent) stated that technology is helping to mitigate the impact of inflation and staff shortages. More broadly the main benefits of technology are seen as increased efficiency (32 per cent), followed by increased revenue and profitability, guest relations and personalisation and managing bookings all sharing second place for 12 per cent of buyers each.

Commenting on the results of the survey, Nimet Sayeed, Event Manager, TravelTech Show said, “Unquestionably travel companies are keeping a keener eye than ever before on attracting new bookings, response rates and meeting customer needs. All of which continue to take priority against the backdrop of continuous market changes, whilst at the same time seeking to deliver profitability and growth. New solutions entering the market offer a practical and effective roadmap to achieving these objectives. Whilst the majority of companies are set to increase their investment in new technology in the year ahead, to ensure a return on that investment, and for any new technology to be effective, it is vital that operators have a clear and present understanding of what their business challenges and objectives are so that they can implement the best-fit solution to their tech stack.

“There has been a marked shift towards greater online interaction and behaviour by both the customer and the operator in recent times, for every stage of the customer journey. For many operators much of their success is down to the agility and efficiency technology delivers.  As AI continues to evolve, arguably it might be regarded as a ‘one stop shop’, that can answer many of the questions that operators are being faced with. This year’s TravelTech Show will enable operators to find out more about just how many questions AI and other solutions can answer across the two-day programme of exhibitors, panels and networking sessions.”

100 travel and travel technology company representatives took part in the survey in April 2024.

TravelTech Show takes place from 19 – 20 June 2024 at ExCeL, London.

Vicky Karantzavelou
Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | Website

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.