Travel companies are struggling to transform themselves for the digital age, with digital transformation, technological and data siloes and internal data quality their top three internal challenges.

According to the World Economic Forum, digitisation in the aviation, travel and tourism industries is expected to create up to USD 305 billion in value through increased profitability up to 2025. This should make digitisation a key priority for the travel industry, however, achieving a strong platform to do so is proving difficult for travel brands. This is one of the findings from the new white paper ‘Understanding Customer Behaviour Through Demand-Based Analytics’ from EyeforTravel and Datumize.

In a major survey of the industry featured in the white paper, travel suppliers (accommodation, car hire, cruise, ground transport, airlines & tour operators) said that their greatest internal issue is digital transformation (34.4% of respondents). This is followed by technological alignment (30.5%) and the perennial concern of data siloes and internal data quality (29%), both of which are critical to achieving a digital brand fit for the 21st century.

“Our data and the industry interviews conducted for this white paper suggests that a significant proportion of the travel industry is struggling to construct the necessary infrastructure to create strong digital brands,” said Alex Hadwick, head of research for EyeforTravel.

“Brands need to get the basics right”

“Stringent data practices increasingly underpin the modern travel sector, which is emphasised by our finding that the most important trend for travel suppliers right now is GDPR and cyber security, followed by big data and analytics.

“There is huge value to be unlocked but brands need to get the basics right first by complying with regulations, creating secure, structured and accessible databases and measuring the right metrics.”

“Our next step is merchandising and being smarter”

The research recommends that brands move data into the cloud and focus on getting a picture of total demand. This is the approach of hotel giant IHG: “Before we had a big data platform, we weren’t able to store and analyze our availability requests,” said Jeff Garber, vice president of revenue management systems at IHG during the EyeforTravel 2018 Digital Data Europe conference.

“We had a lot of information about reservations, and customers that had made reservations. As we bring more data into that big data platform, we can really understand the choice model. Our next step is merchandising and being smarter about what people aren’t buying so that we can reduce the clutter we are showing to them.”

Click here to download the full white paper.


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