Travel agencies and companies are experiencing a surge in business,
but a new study commissioned by technology company Travelport has
revealed that there is still much work to do to fully earn the
confidence of consumers.
The study, entitled "What Consumers Want," identified several gaps in
the travel retail offering, including simplified experiences, easy
support, and transparency.
The study found that the vast majority of consumers (93%) believe
that the best retailers make it easy to find the products they want.
This is particularly crucial for travel businesses given the countless
components a single trip comprises.
Consumers crave transparency, with 90% stating that it is the most
important factor, meaning that retailers must disclose the full details
of products upfront. Doing so can help save customers time and earn
Interestingly, more than half of the respondents (59%) believe that
getting exactly what they want is more important than how much they pay
for it. This indicates that travel businesses should focus on delivering
personalised travel experiences to their customers.
Another important finding of the study is the importance of human-led
customer support. Three out of four customers prefer speaking with a
human (via chat or phone) when something goes awry. Surprisingly,
younger consumers aged 18-41 (83%) want more human support than their
older counterparts (aged 42 and above).
The study also revealed that consumers value easy refunds and
exchanges (43%), filtered options (40%), and personalised offers (29%).
Sustainability was another crucial factor for consumers, with nearly
half (49%) stating that they would choose to spend more and 60% willing
to take longer, indirect transport routes to their destination to save
on carbon emissions when traveling.
Jen Catto, chief marketing officer at Travelport, believes that the
travel industry can build on the goodwill it earned during the pandemic
by getting modern and offering simple, easy, and supportive experiences
"Now that the industry is recovering, there is an enormous
opportunity for travel brands to reinvest in their customer experiences,
earning them customer loyalty while increasing their revenue
simultaneously,” she added. “It's a win-win."