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April 10, 2018, by Gilad Berenstein, CEO of Utrip

Destination marketers have found themselves in a difficult position with the advent of digital technologies. The travel experience has been transformed in many ways, but the biggest change has been the inclusion of data in strategic decisions.

Businesses within the travel industry that overlook data in their decision-making process are inevitably being left behind. Destination marketers that leverage data and use it as a focal point of their strategy are the ones that are likely to see long-term, sustainable success. Not convinced? Here are just a few reasons why data-driven travel is the future:

1) Understand traveler trends from their inception

When crafting the strategy for your business, data needs to be front and center. This will help you understand the traveler and his/her journey from start to finish, and allow you to anticipate exactly what travelers are interested in. Using this data, you can create digital and travel experiences that are catered to these needs.

A recent article in Tnooz discusses this idea, stating that data can allow you to understand these trends as well as how different demographics perceive destinations, and you can use that as a building block for strategy. Rather than only interacting with your customers at one point in their journey, use the data to understand how you can build a process where you are the touchpoint for each step of the traveler journey.

2) Adopt the technology travelers need...before they even realize it

Another major reason for adopting data as a strategic focal point is that it can also give you an idea of what technologies travelers are using and how you can incorporate that into the experience. In a market that is increasingly dependent on technology, it is important the travel experiences you design are cognizant of that and allow for seamless integration.

As an example, look at Finland's adoption of Alipay. Using traveler data, they were able to identify that they had a large percentage of Chinese travelers and accordingly began to implement a program of widespread adoption of Alipay to make payments more convenient for Chinese travelers. While this is a large-scale example, think of it as food for thought. What kind of technologies do you see your customers using, and what do you think will add value to their experiences?

3) Allows travelers to personalize the experience

This is definitely the most important aspect of travel and the one that destination marketers must focus on throughout the strategy process. Having this data allows you to effectively create experiences that are tailored entirely to customers and really transform the way they travel.

A recent report by McKinsey delves into this idea of personalization to underscore its importance in travel: “Personalization is about understanding which data help you to personalize your offering meaningfully.”

Successfully using data as a part of an overall strategy is based on the idea of value. What value does your travel experience provide to the customer? And are they able to avail that somewhere else? Why should they come to you? Think of your data as the North Star of your strategy - that should be the central point that guides the rest of the process and its nuances.

Data can help you answer these questions, and give you powerful insight on what makes your brand unique. Using that information, you can craft a strategy that allows you to leverage and highlight your uniqueness while still providing exceptional experiences.

Data-driven travel is the future, and companies that are able to leverage that to create authentic, immersive experiences are the ones poised for success - and our software can help achieve that, so contact us to learn more.

About Utrip

Utrip is a data-driven personalization platform and A.I. recommendation engine built specifically for the travel industry. We combine the best of local expertise, human experience and artificial intelligence to make the customer experience easy, enjoyable and personal. Leveraging machine learning and advanced traveler preference data, Utrip enables travel companies, both large and small, to increase conversion rates, ancillary revenue, customer loyalty and engagement. Whether through our white label solution, API recommendation engine or data enrichment, Utrip’s technology optimizes your digital experience based on customer preferences, budget, geography and many other relevant factors, sorting through millions of options in seconds. At Utrip, we’re empowering our partners to reimagine their customer relationships through every step of the travel lifecycle.

For more information, please visit www.utrippro.com