In recent decades, industries across practically all areas of life have undergone rapid evolution. For instance, the rise of technology, globalization, youth culture, and intercultural communication have heavily influenced changes in the travel industry in the 21st century.
In order to keep up with shifting capabilities and customer expectations, travel-focused entrepreneurs have been at the forefront of adapting travel companies to the modern age. One example is Ryan Stobie, the founding CEO of Adventure Bucket List, a CRM and booking software company for travel-related businesses.
Here are a few ways that Ryan Stobie’s vision has influenced—and been influenced by—recent developments in the travel industry.
Travelers Are Getting Younger
Nowadays, the average traveler looks a little younger than they did in the past. American Millennials have been shown to be more interested in traveling abroad than older generations when they were the same age by a 23% margin. In fact, about 86% of Millennials today would rather experience a new culture than party or shop.
This is largely due to the fact that today’s young people tend to prefer spending money on life experiences rather than material items. It makes them feel more connected to the world on a large scale, rather than the more fleeting pleasure of buying an item. Certain travel businesses have capitalized on youths’ interest in travel by making options more cost-effective and Millennial-friendly.
Adventure Bucket List is no exception, as it helps other travel companies tap into the millennial market by focusing on experiences over materialism. Stobie’s business includes an affiliate platform that gives companies a way to access thousands of experiences across the globe that can be booked instantly. Affiliates can negotiate commissions and monetize their websites by attracting young travelers with Adventure Bucket List’s experiential offerings.
People Are Booking Plans Last-Minute
Another shift we’re seeing in travel is that customers are booking their trips with less advance notice than in the past. Only 20% of travel bookings are made more than one month in advance, over 50% of reservations are made within a week, and almost 40% of bookings are made within 48 hours of attendance. A lot of this is probably due to mobile technology fostering these last-minute booking behaviors—85% of non-branded hotel Google searches related to ‘today’ or ‘tonight’ occur on a smartphone.
Because of this, it’s becoming more important than ever to be prepared for last-minute bookings at all times.
Stobie has been at the forefront of getting travel companies on board with this adjustment. With Adventure Bucket List’s AGENDA platform, travel businesses can accept bookings 24/7, meaning they’ll never miss one of those 2 AM, last-minute bookings.
People Are Using Technology for Every Aspect of Travel
Technology has probably influenced the travel industry more than any other factor. Due to the rise of consumers booking travel plans online, the need for travel agents is steadily declining. The number of full-time travel agents in the U.S. dropped from a high of 124,000 in 2000 to around 74,000 in 2014. Conversely, digital travel sales are expected to grow 17% in the next three years.
In other words, online travel booking has changed the way that consumers research and book their vacations , and travel businesses need to embrace the technological revolution in order to stay competitive.
No one understands this more than Stobie, which is why Adventure Bucket List uses technology to its fullest potential to help companies better connect with travelers. Its AGENDA platform allows consumers to book experiences on all browsers and devices so customers can book from anywhere at any time.
Travelers Are Relying on Recommendations When Making Plans
Perhaps most importantly, today’s average customer relies heavily on reviews and word of mouth recommendations when making travel-related decisions. 92% of customers will weigh at least two competing travel operations and make a decision based on reviews, and 88% will not consider participating in a tour with low or no online reviews.
As a result, travel companies need to stay on top of their online reviews in order to attract customers. Adventure Bucket List also helps with this, as it’s easy for companies using their system to activate follow-up emails thanking their clients and asking them to leave a TripAdvisor review.
In our increasingly competitive travel world, companies have to do everything they can to pay attention to emerging trends and get on top of them as soon as possible. By emulating Ryan Stobie and his forward-thinking business practices, businesses at every stage of the travel journey, from booking to post-trip reviews, can maintain their competitive edge.
In what other ways have you noticed the travel industry developing?Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.