Shaping the future digital travel landscape

July 26, 2016

Earlier this year, Datalex ran an innovation workshop at the Airline Information Airline Merchandising Conference in Barcelona. Groups of delegates were invited to consider and discuss the future of three digital travel perspectives. The groups were presented with key discussion points for:

  1. the digital marketplace,
  2. the digital enterprise, and
  3. the digital consumer.

Delegates were encouraged to think outside the box while considering future solutions within the scope of today’s technological, industry or organizational constraints. From these discussion points, the moderators extracted the following key ideas and pitches for each theme.

The Digital Marketplace :


“By 2018, 70% of e-commerce will move from B2C and B2B models that focus on the individual customer experience”


The idea: Customers are getting tired of having to search different places to get fragmented information. Therefore a one-stop shop would be beneficial to provide relevant offers. Interactive voice tools with voice commands are seen as the future, for example Apple’s Siri. Enhanced voice-driven search on TV and on mobile devices will also help drive search.
The pitch: Search will be driven around ‘conversational commerce’- utilizing chat, messaging, or other natural language interfaces (i.e. voice) to interact with people, brands or services. Channels will evolve/ disappear and airlines/ travel vendors need to be accessible. Vendors don’t know how many channels there will be, so they need to ensure they have a (digital) strategy that enables third parties to connect and consume their content.


“Worldwide travel is forecast to grow to 7.3 billion passengers by 2034.”


The Digital Enterprise:
The idea: A method through which an idea or problem can be captured quickly, centralized and processed over a common channel. This might be a browser plugin, SMS/email dropbox or mobile application (including POS or flight deck iPads) which captures the short, text-based idea quickly. Whatever it is, it should be in front of staff at all times.
The pitch: Introduce a centralized "innovation wall" where ideas can be filtered using Machine Learning techniques and routed to the right person or start a longer discussion by the CIO, product managers or trained volunteers in mid-level functions.


“By 2018, more than 50% of commerce sites will integrate technologies from more than 25 vendors to deliver a digital customer experience”


The Digital Consumer:
The idea: Speed and convenience – What will the future digital travel consumer demand in the year 2025? What do airlines and travel companies need to do to prepare for this?
The pitch: A future travel journey/experience might look like and include the following: Considering destinations through voice commands and virtual reality demos. Booking through personal robotic concierge and paying via stored body implant chip. Customers are met by robotic service agents at hotel destination. Guests have their pre-selected 3D printed wardrobe waiting at hotel on arrival. Transportation to and from destinations is with driverless, shared electronic cars. – Welcome to the future!


In each scenario, the focus is on maximiziing the utilization of existing and maturing technologies to refine, intelligently automate and expedite a process or service, while always keeping customer experience to the forefront of the delivery. One order for everything travel will be taken to the next level, with digital commerce at the heart of travel businesses, and one seamless experience at the heart of the customer’s ultimate travel journey.

Rory Pratt
Digital Marketing Executive, Datalex

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