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Chat apps are no longer just for chat. Check out China's ubiquitous WeChat platform, which handles everything from bill payment to transportation reservations, for a sign of where the industry is headed.
We'll jump at the chance for automated expense reporting whenever we can and Microsoft's Cortana and Skype bots have potential to help travelers book trips. We just need to see whether travelers will trust bots as they've trusted their own booking capabilities in the past.
Give Kayak credit for going where the users are and building a travel-search app on top of Slack. Is Slack the optimum way to plan a trip? Hardly. But there will be some users, who are chatting at the office in Slack all day, who could find it convenient. Messaging apps such as WhatsApp would be fertile ground as well.
Most travel brands have so far shied away from Snapchat for all the right reasons. Marketing efforts on the platform have a fuzzy return on investment and can be difficult to scale.
Items like film cameras and retro hotels are finding new life with travelers. Is it a blip on the radar, or a sign of a greater yearning for experiences that are less commoditized and more personal?
Despite the country's recent economic downturn, Chinese travelers remain an important and growing source of revenue for travel brands. More marketers need to get smarter about how to reach them using services like WeChat.
With this comprehensive view into the traveler’s journey, the industry is poised to elevate and per-sonalize the travel experience further than ever.
Expedia and Booking.com are wildly successful because they're great at converting travel shoppers into buyers. In order to keep growing, however, they'll need to move further up the "purchase funnel" to capture travelers who are still in the research phase. New search features may be the way to do it.
Recent tech innovations suggest the cruise industry is eager to dispel notions it's behind the times. But beyond speedier, cheaper Wi-Fi, will passengers notice the difference?