Digital

Skift Global Trend for 2014: Rise of The Silent Traveler

@rafat

Jan 22, 2014 8:30 am

Skift Take

The human part of the travel service economy may become less and less important. What does that mean for the industry and how can it respond using data?

— Rafat Ali

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Early in January we released our big report, “14 Global Trends That Will Define Travel in 2014,” outlining the major trends that will define travel this year. Below is one of the trends we see as playing out over 2014 and beyond. Download the full report below.

The rise of digital has given rise to a new kind of traveler who is adept at all available online and mobile tools and uses them to jump across all industry-defined silos. These new travelers don’t need tons of handholding, they shun human interaction, and know their way around everywhere they go.

If the hospitality — the actual human to human interaction — part of the travel industry becomes less and less important, how does the industry define itself? How does it understand the needs of its customers and fulfill them?

This presents the global hospitality industry a paradox: the human part of the service economy may become less and less important with the rise of the independent, digital traveler forging his or her own way. But big data and personalization offer a way for travel companies to offer that invisible pillar of support. It also allows the travel industry an opportunity to balance the inevitable expectation of personalization while simultaneously enhancing the need to remain independent.

The risk: predictive services — using data trails — may have potential risks in making too much of personalized interactions.

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Check out the 2014 trends below in the presentation, or download them for deeper read. Either way, share them if you like them and think others can benefit from them.

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