Big Data & the Travel Industry

Big data has the potential to transform how travel companies deliver services to travellers, according to the latest study by Amadeus.

Big data is arguably the biggest opportunity in a generation for travel businesses to embrace the changing structure of data and maximize its use. It offers the potential for a vast shift for all travel companies, empowering them to enhance both the business and experience of travel. As with any generational shift in technology, however, the opportunities arrive hand-in-hand with the potential for significant disruption, which naturally bring many challenges – competitive and creative – for the travel industry to consider.

Amadeus Big Data Report
Amadeus Big Data Report

“At the Big Data Crossroads: turning towards a smarter travel experience”, an independent study just published by Amadeus, explores the impact of large volume, unstructured data known as big data on the global travel industry.

The study finds that travel companies are at a crucial big data crossroads: big data has a vital role to play in delivering a more efficient and tailored travel experience with benefits to both travel companies and travelers alike. However, its potential is still confined to early adopters in the travel sector, and it calls for more widespread consideration across the industry about how new approaches to big data can yield significant opportunities.

Big Data- means for Travel
http://www.amadeus.com

Here is an overview of the major points:

Big data offers significant benefits for all travel companies
The benefits of big data for travel providers and travelers are explored, including:
• Better decision support
• New products and services
• Better customer relationships
• Cheaper, faster data processing

Big data in the travel industry is currently being driven by early adopters

The diverse ways in which big data is being used by early adopters in the travel industry are investigated, with a focus on:
• Optimizing revenue management
• Customizing travel distribution
• Transforming corporate travel
• Enhancing internal operations
• Boosting financial performance

Challenges need to be overcome so the industry can realize the potential of big data

The study acknowledges the technical and operational challenges associated with big data adoption in the industry, namely:
• Creating an integrated data source
• Working in a hybrid technological environment
• Overcoming the data skills shortage (an issue in all industries adopting big data)
• Maintaining competitive advantage

Finally, here is a series of recommendations for travel companies preparing to embrace big data:

  • Research big data
  • Strategize about big data 
  • Don’t just explore big data technology – look at the changes you will need to make to business and operational    processes too
  • Start assembling big data skills 
  • Work with partners

Find the Full Report here

View this and all the latest Tourism & Travel Trends and Developments in Trendspotting 2013.

Study Snapshot: Business Travel Insights

According to the latest traveller insights report commissioned by Amadeus, 47% of travellers lack full comprehension of corporate travel policy and 34% of travellers went ‘off-plan’ in 2012. It shows that business travel goes online while mobile still has a long way to go, opening up opportunities for travel managers to build a more effective relationship with travellers.

The report, ‘Amadeus Business Travel Insights: the 21st Century Business Traveller’, charts the behaviour and aspirations of business travellers across the UK and Ireland, identifying opportunities for travel departments to introduce new services and technologies that will deliver additional value to travellers.

Business travel

Key findings include:

Technology changing the face of business travel

Tipping point reached in the ability to book online: the data displays new opportunities for self managed travel as two thirds (66%) of travellers are now able to book their business travel through an online booking tool. Only a third of travellers (33%) are able to book travel on a mobile or tablet device, providing a significant area of opportunity for travel managers, TMCs and technology companies to put their knowledge and company policies in the hands of the traveller.

Itinerary change management provides opportunity to add value

Half (51%) of the survey respondents had to make changes to their travel plans in 2012 with 37% having to amend their flights whilst on the road. These statistics indicate a clear opportunity for the travel department to add value as only 30% of travellers said the department had been ‘very effective’ at making the necessary amendments to their bookings.

Clear gap to bridge between corporate governance and user awareness of policy

One third (34%) of travellers surveyed said that they had gone “off plan” during their 2012 business travel. However, this increased to half (51%) for those travellers who made 11 or more trips in 2012, nearly a fifth (18%) of them went “off plan” at least five times during the year.

Convenience is the top priority for business travellers

The report found that convenience is prioritised by business travellers above cost and comfort, with 62% of respondents stating this was the most important factor when travelling for business. Just over a fifth (22%) stated cost as their top priority, with only 15% putting comfort first. 32% of the business travellers who took part in our survey would also like to have the opportunity to extend their business trip to include self-funded leisure travel and 14% would like to be provided with information into local sights.

Ambivalence to the corporate travel department

However, the report delivers some more mixed reading for travel managers. Whilst half of the travellers surveyed said that they fully understand their company’s corporate travel policy (51%), this leaves nearly half who have a more limited or no understanding. Respondents demonstrated an inability to pinpoint the value added by the corporate travel department: nearly half (47%) said that the department neither helped nor hindered the business, 15% said that the corporate travel department hindered their ability to do business.

As Diane Bouzebiba, Managing Director of Amadeus, UK and Ireland, comments: “Putting the [corporate travel departments’] expertise in the hands of corporate travellers and exploring mobile technology to facilitate the planning, booking and amendment of travel arrangements, will go a long way to help keep travellers on plan, safe and better connected in 2013 and beyond.”

The report is based on a survey of over 400 UK and Ireland adults who work for large companies and regularly travel for business and was conducted in December 2012, by ICM Research on behalf of Amadeus UK.

Source: www.amadeus.com

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