There are very few other products being sold online that have as much emotional pulling power as a holiday. A vacation is the stuff of dreams, but also of detailed ongoing research and of high capital outlay. For many families, the most they will spend on a single item in a typical year is the purchase of their annual holiday.
I was at a conference the other day and, whilst awaiting the first speaker’s presentation, I was chatting with the lady next to me. I am not sure how it came up in conversation, but the subject we started talking about was customer loyalty programmes and their associated loyalty cards.
Quite a few years ago (pre-Internet) I was commissioned to carry out a feasibility study for a large telecommunications organisation. The idea was to test the concept of an electronic transport marketplace (ETM) covering the whole of mainland United Kingdom.
The news that Etihad passengers will be able communicate with the airline via WhatsApp got me thinking about my own messaging apps. I use quite a few. On my mobile I have Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, Skype, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Viber and good old SMS. Apart from SMS, they all provide global communication for free.
Expedia has carried out a research study in partnership with The Center for Generational Kinetics. The study is called “Generations on the Move - A deep dive into multi-generational travel trends and how their habits will impact the future of the industry.” It is a U.S. centric study, interviewing 1,000 adults age 18 to 65 but I do think that the results have global applicability.
In the last month I was invited by an airline to contribute to a strategy day, an away day for their senior executives to ponder the bigger picture and how they might take their airline forward in the next few years. A few external experts such as me had been invited along to the strategy day. Our purpose was to provide some food for thought to catalyse discussion amongst the executives present.
There are plenty of opinions to be heard about the tech problems that British Airways suffered and the way the downtime was handled. It surely has to rank as one of the worst public relations disasters in the airline’s history.
A couple of weeks ago I was moderating this year’s Eyefortravel Europe conference. There was a mammoth line-up of speakers covering all the important topics of the day. We talked about mobile, personalisation, data, artificial intelligence, disruption and so on. It was a really absorbing event with lots to learn.