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4 Ways Big Data Is Changing The Travel Industry For Good

These are the four ways how big data is producing some major changes in the travel and hospitality industries

30Dec

Big data is changing every industry, travel and hospitality included. From the ways in which customers book accommodations to the experiences they have upon arrival, big data is producing some major changes.

Four Ways Big Data is Altering Travel for the Better

You don’t have to look very far to see just how powerful the influence of big data has been in the travel and hospitality industry over the last few years. And as we look to the future, consumers can expect to see even more positive developments.

Let’s check out some of what’s happening.

1. Better Pricing Strategies

When you study the most important decision factors for travelers, price always ranks near the top. People don’t want to pay too much and will often choose one accommodation over another solely based on price.

This is why the role of big data in creating better pricing strategies has revolutionized the industry and allowed hotels, resorts, and airlines to advertize better and more accurate pricing based on hundreds of related factors.

Check out this Atlanta hotels landing page as an example of how this works. Notice how the website features a list of different independent hotels and includes variable pricing on the right side of the screen. These prices aren’t just pulled out of thin air. Trip.com uses big data and analytics to draw real-time prices from the various hotels, based on timing, demand, and seasonal factors. The result is a lower price for customers.

2. More Convenient Booking

Because airlines and hotels have centralized systems with all of their data in one place, customers are able to enjoy much easier booking processes. Whether online, over the phone, or via third-party platforms, customers don’t have to worry about booking issues. All the information stems from the same source, which establishes consistency in user experience and outcome.

3. Enhanced Customer Experiences

Hotels have long invested in attempts to personalize customer experiences so that guests enjoy their stays and return in the future. But it hasn’t always been possible for hotels to deliver accurate personalization, especially when they serve multiple groups of customers. Enter big data.

Whereas success in the hotel industry was once determined by superior customer service based on the requested needs of customers, there’s been a steep change in recent months.

'The competitive advantage in today’s hotel industry is driven more by the ability to anticipate and proactively meet the needs of customers; an ability that can only be exercised through data analytics,' data mining practitioner Goran Dragosavac says. In other words, big data has allowed hotels to move from being reactionary to proactive.

4. Aggregated Customer Recommendations

'Consumers are transforming from consuming content to creating and aggregating it,' expert Gunendra Patil says. 'They are writing reviews, providing ratings and recommendations which can strongly influence other potential travelers who access digital media for travel related queries. Consumers have become much more influential that they even hold the power to impact the reputation of travel service providers.'

While the infrastructure for allowing customers to post their thoughts and ratings exists, it’s up to individual companies to find ways to aggregate and synthesize this data for effective usage. With the assistance of big data analytics tools, this has become a reality over the last couple of years.

Big Data Means Big Change

It’s hard not to see the influence of big data and analytics on the travel industry. From airlines to hotels and every market player in between, access to relevant data means better decision making and more seamless experiences.

There’s still a long way to go, but we’re clearly moving in the right direction.

You can hear more big data insights for the travel industry by joining Tommy Ockerby-Tran, Director of Data & Analytics at Expedia, at the Big Data Innovation Summit

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