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2016 – A Year of Travel in Review

It’s not far off now. The annual, last-minute rush to get things done before Christmas and the extra hours that comes with it.

It’s not far off now. The annual, last-minute rush to get things done before Christmas and the extra hours that comes with it.

 

At some stage we say ‘that’s enough for this year’.

I actually don’t mind it. The international nature of our business means that if I get things underway they can progress offshore whilst we celebrate Christmas. It’s a great time to amplify my efforts. Stuff getting done whilst I eat turkey.

This is one of the last jobs.

It was a big year for things that happened outside of our control. A long election campaign that initially didn’t yield a result, Brexit, Trump, anti-drug presidents, people who died in terrorist acts. Some destinations rose, some faltered.

trump112

It all affected travel. The entire market dealt with the same thing but people still travelled. A moderate year of growth for most, unless they were reviewing their wage which across the country stood still.

We saw a shift to more aggressive advertising from the OTA’s with Webjet drawing first blood. Whilst there was a fight back.

Travel technology continues to fascinate, infuriate and evolve at a rapid pace. The endless count of software and systems we know and love can now connect and integrate. Automation services such as IFTTT and Zapier will make it easier to connect the data and communication dots. Are you automating?

To survive, the challenge for agents is rapid evolution in the right direction. Industry professionals gazed at a travel industry vision of 2020. The message that created the most resonance came from industry expert Meg Salter who said:

“I don’t believe there is a place in 2020 and beyond for every travel agent that exists right now.”

Meg Salter

“The travel agents that will survive are the ones who change and the ones that will thrive are the ones that change first.”

Some evolution is better than standing still.

Technology and business travel

The broader business world is just exploding. Our customers are exposed to it and they expect more from us. Just think about how your business really is today . The last decade has seen a shift of travel business online and integrated.

Today the systems and infrastructure are moving through generations of evolution. Crypto currencies, extreme bandwidth, dynamic pricing, real-time transactions and 3D immersive marketing materials.

Are enough Agents pushing the bounds with the technology available?

We exist in an age where we are learning more about ourselves than ever before. Education techniques and emotional intelligence through to the bio hacking that seeks to get more out of you. Electro implants and flash lighting treatment anyone?

Are there opportunities for thinking outside of the box?

I sought knowledge this year. There’s been a lot of growth in not just the numbers but in the people and our understanding of our business and customers. I’m grateful for the experiences of 2016. I’m lucky to work with a great group in a fun industry made up of some awesome people I dig working with. I hope you see it the same way.

Bring on 2017.

What were some standout moments in travel for you tin 2016?