Earlier this week in Rome, Italy, travel industry stakeholders meet to exchange ideas about tourism and luxury travel. Every month – Martedì, meaning “Tuesday” in Italian – (#MARTEDIturismo) – is hosted by Guida Viaggi, one of the prime travel trade publications, calls together the premier leaders in travel with the goal of sharing evolving scenarios in tourism and to understand what the real needs are of each part of the travel chain, (hotels, tour operators, corporations, airlines, travel agencies, etc.) together with institutions.
The starting point of this rendezvous was the awareness that the concept of luxury in tourism has evolved. The customer has access to information online, but they have very special needs and travel companies have the ability to offer advice to fulfill their travel desires.
Customization is the key to success to win the target. It’s about whether the travel sector is able to take full advantage of the tools that technology can provide and to cultivate this valuable customer segment by building customer loyalty.
Marco Benincasa, Sabre Travel Network’s Italy country director, was among experts from various institutions and travel companies. In a climate of open dialogue between the parties, Marco underlined the connection between high expectations these travelers have and the increasing importance of customization and personalization service. Technology can be the answer and the starting point for travel agents, corporations and travel management companies.
Thinking about how technology is valuable in everyday life and business, it is just as important in tourism and luxury travel. Specifically, Marco looked at the combination of Big Data, Analytics and Mobile: “These are trends that apply to any business, big or small – that means they apply, or will soon, to everyone in this room” – he said. “Big Data is a key to drive predictability and that in turn helps to drive personalization.”
“Our activity lies in our ability to harness big data and the insights it can provide, our capability to look at how travelers interact with their mobile devices give us unique and valuable information about their buying behaviors. Sabre uses data and business intelligence as a centerpiece of our customer relationships, as we do through our TripCase mobile app.”
Participants agreed, saying that the key to satisfying a high-spending customer is customization, the ability to meet certain needs, but this may not always work. If the luxury tourism in Italy loses a few shots, higher expectations come from foreigners. And here service becomes even more important.
Luxury is not a problem of destination or hotel; it is the search for unique details and experiences that make a travel experience unforgettable. This was the main concept the participants on the round table agreed upon. To achieve this goal, it is necessary to identify the needs of the customers and make sure that the path is clear between creation and enjoyment of the holiday.