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Netting the Mobile Consumer: Tourism’s Top Trends for 2014

3 FEB 2014

This week, the Canadian Tourism College blog looks at forecasted travel trends for 2014.  The emphasis is on mobile technology and the ways in which travel companies represent themselves online. Tourists research trips online, purchase tickets via the web, document their experiences through social media and, oftentimes rate the companies they deal with in public forums. In order to thrive, companies must ensure that they are connecting online with potential consumers in positive ways, whether it’s offering real-time customer support or targeted ads that attract a specific niche audience.  According to the blog post, Netting the Mobile Consumer: Tourism’s Top Trend for 2014,

When it comes to the travel industry, savvy hospitality business managementwill invest heavily in reaching and retaining those habitually web-centered consumers. Today’s travellers are increasingly self-advocating, circumventing travel agents and taking advantage of peer-to-peer services while on the road. In order to remain competitive, tourism companies must consider mobility when designing new products, and extend their visibility across international platforms into emerging markets, from which a spike in international travel is anticipated for 2014.

Peer-to-peer sites like Airbnb and EatWith hold appeal for tourists because they offer one clearly identifiable service, are easy to use, and can accommodate last-minute requests. Today’s tourist is less concerned with planning in advance, and more interested in spontaneity – a trend very well supported by a recent increase in last-minute deal sites and services that promise low prices with plenty of flexibility. Traditional business models must adjust their approach if they are to compete with nimble start-ups – and part of that strategy should be reaching out to users, answering requests and providing assistance via a range of online platforms.