Travel apps could be the future of tourism recovery

By TIN Media | Technology Published 3 years ago on 22 May 2021
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The desire for a ‘seamless’ travel experience will have heightened during COVID-19 with travellers searching for an easy-to-use platform, where they can be inspired and informed of where they can travel safely.

The race to deploy contactless processes, digital health passes, and securely store consumer data has been accelerated by COVID-19. According to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics firm, businesses should look to re-model travel apps to better serve and handle post-pandemic travelers.

Consumers worldwide have a strong desire for contactless technology, as apps that use contactless payment allow them to make purchases with ease. When it comes to booking a vacation, this is shaping how tourism companies target their clients. Both mobile payments and online travel were among the top five themes listed in tourism company filings in 2020, according to GlobalData's company filing analytics database. Destination management organizations (DMOs) are working to improve capacity management in order to promote more responsible tourism following the pandemic. All of these factors indicate that travel apps are the way to go for customers, businesses, and destinations alike. Taking the initiative to build an end-to-end service that inspires travel trust, ensures secure travel, and improves overall management could prove highly profitable and advantageous for all parties involved.

“It now appears likely that some kind of digital passport would be needed to travel safely post-pandemic,” says Johanna Bonhill-Smith, a travel and tourism analyst at GlobalData. There's a big market and an increasing need for a travel app that can combine all aspects of a trip into a single app, with omnichannel integration that encompasses anything from simplifying travel specifications to transactions. Anything that can help improve the customer experience and instill trust in travelers should be a top priority now.”

The importance of contactless payment systems cannot be overstated. In GlobalData's survey, a higher percentage of respondents (55%) said they would only pay for products/services with their cards or cell phones rather than cash. In the ‘new standard' after COVID-19, 60 percent plan to ‘start or continue' making banking transactions online, according to the same survey. The reasons for this are most likely related to general ease of use as well as health and hygiene concerns. In tourism, however, there are increasing opportunities for app integration.

“From a business standpoint, apps offer the ability to upsell some additional goods which can contribute to a higher return on investment,” Bonhill-Smith continues (ROI). Mobile payments and online travel both rank highly in GlobalData's filing analytics database (theme mentions in 2020), indicating that they will be important areas of focus in the future. However, future innovations must be publicized and demonstrated to end-users the benefits of seamless app experiences.

Aside from showing COVID-19 travel criteria, travel apps provide destinations with a plethora of advantages. For example, a DMO-created app may encourage destination experiences while managing capacity at certain attractions/locations. Benefits may also be seen for airports, where heavy footfall can be diverted to various parts of the airport, ensuring that social distancing steps are followed.


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