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The Travel Trends For 2019 — Are You Ready To Keep Up?

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Where Is Travel Going?

Just type in ‘travel trends for 2019’ into Google and in 0.44 seconds you’ll get back    582,000,000 results!?!

It’s the start of another year and that means a sea of articles on the latest trends in travel. I love reading about the various takes on what and why it’s going to be hot… along with what suppliers and destinations are doing to engage, differentiate and attract travelers these days.

After pouring through dozens of these articles (it gets a bit redundant quick), talking directly to those in the travel trenches and from my own personal observations it’s clear travel is best furthering itself through experiential pursuits coupled with more authenticity.

One report getting a lot of play on B2B social feeds is the recent research done by Booking.com, stating almost two-thirds of travelers (60%) value experiences higher than material possessions.  And in 2019 this will mean more travelers will be focused on creating their own new and authentic experiences.

Consider the trends highlighted in one piece The Manual’s Top 7 Travel Trends to Watch for in 2019. They run the range from hiking active volcanoes to sleeping in giant tequila barrels. Experiential indeed!

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And in terms of customized Virtuoso is claiming that 2019 is the year of “ultra-personalized travel,” noting that their clients are seeking a deeper level of personalization and one-of-a-kind experiences ranging from specific seat numbers on planes and hotel room numbers to particular rental car types.

Virtuoso also states clients are asking for prearranged meals and appointments. “They are seeking not just restaurant reservations but exact tables at in-demand hot spots as well as preordering wine to accompany the meal. They also ask their advisers to book hairdressers, massage therapists, even tattoo artists.”

It’s clear — fewer and fewer travelers (especially Millennials and Gen Z) are going to be satisfied with going to a hotel and just hanging out at the pool. Today’s travelers are looking for a lot more to fill their Instagram stream.

So, with travel becoming more experiential and more tailored how do destinations, hotels, cruise lines, airlines, restaurants, and attractions get their message across?

Look, there’s no silver bullet. But what is clear to me is engaging and sharing with sellers how you are delivering on these trends, and it’s a continuous loop. Training and sales enablement will become even more important in the days and years ahead.

The amount of travel options over the past decade has exploded. There are more cruise options than ever before, more flights to all parts of the world. More hotel rooms and unique room accommodations (see above) than ever before. And guess what? It’s not going to slow down any time soon.

Millennials and Gen Z travelers are redefining the entire space. And travel organizations will need to cater to these changes or face losing out.

But here’s the thing.

With all these new products and experiences comes much more noise. After all, you have to find a way to tell your story — and it’s getting harder and harder to break through and connect with those interested in the story you are telling.

Moving forward, hoteliers, cruise lines, CVAs and DMOs will all need to focus on providing better training and invest more in ongoing education and ultimately sales enablement. This is the shift from a ‘check the box’ training exercise, to a long term ‘sales activation’ strategy. Much different execution, and hence results.

There is, however, a problem with that statement. Many confuse better with more. 

But we don’t need more. We are drowning in more. We don’t need more bad flyers, or more pricing emails, or boring webinars or PowerPoints that go on and on and on and on about every single feature. This piling-on needs to stop.

What’s needed are stories that will resonate and stand out, and the right tools travel professionals can use to help share those stories to those that want to hear it.

My team and I at TravPRO Mobile have focused on removing the friction and providing the ‘just in time’ sales and brand intelligence advisors need to influence more bookings. We have a product that does address this tension, that does provide best in class training and moreover, we marry training with Sales Enablement — the “killer app” that improves product retention and drives better sales conversions.

Most importantly, we put all this power right in the palm of their hands.

2019 will have its challenges but it should be another big year for travel. TravPRO can uniquely help you amplify and mobilize your message and ensure that it gets heard in our noisy world.

When you’re ready to talk…we are here.

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