For some in the travel industry, there will be no calm after the storm of Covid.
Instead, a new report warns, there will be a storm after the calm of the pandemic.
Those business that paused their operations or slowed to a crawl when
customers stopped coming through the door will be the ones playing
catch-up because those same customers whose travel plans were crippled
by Covid have moved on to the age of digitalisation.
“There’s no doubt that the global events of the past two years have
accelerated the digital transformation for companies of all sizes and
across all industries,” says David Carrel
vice president, marketing, Adobe Experience Cloud.
Quite simply, Adobe’s 2022 Digital Trends report finds the events of 2020-2021 have re-wired customers to be digital-first.
And if travel businesses are not at the other end of the wire,
customers will flick the switch and go looking for other providers.
“The way that customers work, communicate, socialise, shop and
consume media has transformed. The relationships between customers,
businesses, their employees, partners, suppliers and competitors will
never be the same again,” Adobe says.
“In this new reality, every business is rethinking how they engage
with consumers and business buyers alike. The pandemic raised the bar on
the need for firms to be more
agile, collaborative and speed up the time-to-value.”
According to PWC’s latest Global Consumer Insights Survey, “overall
adoption of digital shopping has increased across multiple sectors,
including travel and entertainment.”
Adobe adds: “As customers’ experience expectations heighten and
competition intensifies, it has never been more vital for organisations
to build processes around customer needs.
“With customer expectations continuing to rise, the importance of
developing and nurturing direct relationships with customers has never
been more important. How companies gather and extract insights from
customer data will become more critical, especially as marketers shift
from relying on third-party data and embrace first-party strategies.
Airlines, struggling to recoup profits – and customers – lost during
Covid, also need to continue the digital transformation that is
reshaping the industry, “to find more intelligent ways of working, and
to help return to sustainable growth,” says SITA.
“As consultants McKinsey point out, the focus on transforming the
travel experience must remain, making check-in and boarding processes
seamless, simple and understandable for passengers, at the same time as
using data and analytics for better decision making,” said Carlos
Kaduoka, vice president portfolio, SITA.
SITA’s Air Transport IT Insights survey has found airline IT
investment focused overwhelmingly on passenger confidence and
convenience, through automation and self-service technologies that will
change the journey forever, such as biometric self-boarding gates,
self-bag drop, mobile apps and more.
“Tellingly, that IT investment is also being ploughed into creating
better and more efficient operations through improved data management,
business intelligence, data exchange and artificial intelligence.
“The results also clearly show that most airlines now prioritise new
IT to make their operations more sustainable,” Kaduoka added.