The era of personalization is fast catching up with the online world. But with a difference. Though people are looking for personalized results, they are always worried about infringement of their privacy. The respondents to the recent survey by AYTM Market Research on personalization of results throw an interesting light on this aspect. While 15.5% respondents said they would like personalized results, 39.1% said yes, while raising concerns about privacy. The rest 45.4% said they would prefer everyone sees the same set of results. With this interesting mix of consumer responses with majority having varied opinions on privacy infringement, is the personalization flight doomed even before it has taken off?
How personalization can be useful in travel industry
We at tavisca think otherwise. In the travel business personalization can be achieved without infringing into a personal privacy. Acting as a personal advisor when a traveler visits a tricky country, alerting him/her with Visa rules, immunization needs, paper work and do’s and don’ts with tip for local travel are all immensely valuable facets of personalization. Assistance from verified or certified agencies can help a traveler to manage FOREX issues, transportation for local travel, certified/verified/best reviewed hotels, and commonly known rip offs and tips to avoid them.
Real time information on flight status, delays in check-in, baggage policies, news related to travel and how it would impact the consumer are all positive examples of how personalization can be put to good use for the benefit of the traveler (Some of the classic examples being the volcanic ash eruption in Europe last year and the Feb slow storm in UK grounding major flights and tossing all the schedules off the hook).
With smart devices becoming ubiquitous (as shown by the recent survey entitled the ‘Beginning of the End of the PC Era?’ from web design and digital specialist Nucleus), mobile browsing for travel has doubled over last 6 months with some of the websites receiving traffic as high as 24% from these devices and 85% of them are driven by Apple mobile devices. Travel related information is now well within the reach of the mobile traveler and carrying the bunch of paper printouts is a thing of the past. Travel technology has matured, allowing the user to access real time data to find the nearby attractions and reviews through location based services.
The added advantage for corporates adopting these technologies is that they can take personalized travel to next level by using it to enforce corporate travel policies and track the spend on travel. A recent survey by American express presents a grim picture of the available tools to manage the corporate travel. The survey shows that there 80% of the travel policies fail to track the usage of ancillary services and its reimbursement. With annual ancillary revenue for Airline alone set to reach $100 billion mark with most of the consumers of ancillary services being the corporate travelers, tracking of such usages in-policy and out of policy will be of utmost importance. The GDS’s are all geared up; with Amadeus announcing ala carte services and SABRE promoting the Airline Total Pricing.
OTA’s seem to be still figuring out a way to leverage the next wave of personalization. With the expectations of the dynamic and mobile traveler reaching a feverish pitch, it is time to take a serious look at your travel technology and ponder on its capabilities to stand the test of the era of personalization.
Hotel Marketing, Consumers concerned about personalized search results, February 07, 2012,
Linda Fox at Tnooz, Research shows massive surge in iPad travel browsing, February 07,2012,
Dennis Schaal at Tnooz, American Express survey finds huge mobile gap in corporate travel policies, February 6, 2012, http://www.tnooz.com/2012/02/06/mobile/american-express-survey-finds-huge-mobile-gap-in-corporate-travel-policies/
N.B.: This post was written by Anup Patil. Anup serves as the COO at Tavisca Solutions, India. You can reach Anup directly at firstname.lastname@example.org