Travelport unveiled the 2020 Trends that will shape travel experiences this year. Picture: Pixabay.

Travelport unveiled the 2020 Trends that will shape travel experiences this year. The leading technology company conducted independent research with thousands of global travellers, including 500 in South Africa. Commenting on the trends, Adrian Roodt, Country Manager for Southern Africa at Travelport, said the way customers engaged with their travel experience changed rapidly. 

“We in the travel industry need to understand, and keep pace with these forces to make sure we’re continuing to make the experience of buying and managing travel continually better, for everyone,” said Roodt. 

These are 3 trends that will shape travel experiences in 2020: 

Customers in control

Several trends highlight that customers are moving towards self-service options. Around 61% of travellers in South Africa surveyed preferred to hear about travel disruption via digital communications (e.g. push notifications on an app; mobile chatbots; or instant messaging apps) rather than speak with a person on the phone. This is especially important when it comes to Gen Z, the future business traveller, and managing their high expectations through technology.

Mobile takeover

With the threat of super app domination, Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) must disrupt or risk being disrupted. Travelport believes contextual messaging across the journey will help. Super app tech giants such as WeChat give their users a one stop shop to communicate, shop online, book travel, bank, find a date, get food delivery, and pay for anything within a single, unified smartphone app. Travel brands that want to deliver holistic mobile customer experiences need to think about how they engage travellers within these apps as well as in their mobile channels.

Retail accelerated

Research shows people will see an accelerated rate of change in the way travel is retailed and purchased online within the next year. This includes wider and more complex multi-content reach, more enriched and comparable offerings, and more focus on relevance than magnitude. 

See the full 2020 Trends hub here