The Evolution of the Travel Business – Five Changes to Notice

  • Increasingly Diverse Partnerships
  • The Digital Brand
  • Creative Efficiency
  • Utilization of “Big Data”
  • The Birth of New Travel Sub-Industries

As much as any other business sector today, the travel industry has had to find and employ any number of savvy changes in order to stay astride with the evolving business landscape. How exactly has this sector worked to stay ahead of evolutionary need as opposed to, instead, reacting from too far behind? Here are some interesting examples of the greater will to adapt to changing times in the travel business.

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1. Increasingly Diverse Partnerships

At one time, “partnership” in travel-related businesses simply meant basic alliances with select other businesses. For example, in this more traditional sense, a partnership may be seen between a taxi company and a hotel chain in which both advocate and advertise for the other’s interests. Today, however, such reciprocal arrangements can vary much more. Credit card companies and their “reward miles,” for example, show how an airline and a bank, at opposite ends of the Earth, can partner for mutual benefit.

2. The Digital Brand

A company’s “brand” is essentially its image within the greater community and marketplace. The symbols, theme songs, signature products, and other unique characteristics of the company all combine to create this brand image. Historically, the brand was a simpler concept to maintain, but with the advent and popularization of social media, digital branding is the new and more advanced branch of the traditional branding concern. As such, travel companies have appropriately shifted many of their branding and public relations efforts to this platform.

3. Creative Efficiency

As demand from shareholders rises and tolerance for company misstep narrows, travel businesses have worked to come up with some straightforward as well as some not so straightforward ways with which to gain the upper hand on efficiency and hinging profits. One way we’ve seen this is through the physical redesign of many commercial travel jets to weigh less, hold more passengers, and be more fuel-efficient. Other examples of the collective stride toward greater efficiency include the use of apps to further assure fully-booked operations, the use of renewable resources where possible, and even combined-party attractions and events where single-party, more cost-growing options previously reigned.

4. Utilization of “Big Data”

As concisely defined by Forbes contributor Lisa Arthur, “big data is a collection of data from traditional and digital sources inside and outside your company that represents a source for ongoing discovery and analysis.” It is often referred to as “big” because of the sheer amounts of it, attained through the greatest research into the smallest complexities, facts, and figures. In any case, big data is being utilized in many travel-related businesses because of its ability to uncover otherwise hidden but very valuable facts about the business, its customers, or other associated factors. Many companies are subsequently finding that big data equates to big knowledge which then equates to greater capabilities in making profits.

5. The Birth of New Travel Sub-Industries

Finally, it would be a glaring omission to not mention the birth of new sub-industries within the travel world. Namely, the ridesharing industry is one such completely new and lucrative example. Uber, Lyft, and a number of other companies have sprung up and become household names in the areas of travel and transportation in recent times. Necessity and demand are the ultimate drivers of invention, after all, and the need for additional options in the ever-expanding world of travel will likely continue to spurn forth exciting new concepts and sub-industries just like this.

Travel will always be a human necessity and even passion. As long as that fact rings true, the industries serving these very needs will continue to grow and evolve over time. These five examples of change shed light on some the ways we see these evolutionary steps unfolding within the travel industry today.