Themes on Day Three of the Travel Technology Show at WTM picked up on ways to get your brand past the noise on social media as well as peer-to-peer trends.
Kicking off the WTM Travel Perspective sessions was a keynote from Aoife Desmond, Twitter Head of Travel Strategy, EMEA. She described travel as one of the most exciting verticals on the social network and told the large gathering to think about targeting moments as opposed to markets.
Desmond highlighted the challenges for brands having to embrace the fast pace of change in terms of relevance, engagement and mobile.
“How can you continue to be relevant in an exponentially changing area. The strategies you have been planning may not be relevant in three weeks time. Twitter is all about the moment.”
She went on to name a number of brands that have been successful in seizing those moments such as KLM with its recent #happytohelp campaign which received 68 million impressions on the day of its launch. Desmond said the company took the opportunity to humanise the brand and foster loyalty.
She also talked about putting mobile in the marketing mix and shared research revealing that 66% of mobile users are using Twitter while watching television. Tourism Ireland, she added, had capitalised on this trend with a campaign around Game of Thrones and Northern Ireland, where it was filmed.
Desmond ended up with a sneak peak of #buynow which is currently in beta in the US with companies from different verticals enables users to click to buy something directly from the Twitter stream.
Also drawing a large following was a second WTM Travel Perspective keynote from Airbnb.
In a question and answer session Olivier Gremillon, managing director, Europe, for the peer-to-peer accommodation marketplace talked about the role of technology in making it as easy to book a room, and pay in your own currency, 10 miles away as across the other side of the globe.
He also said the economic downturn had helped the emergence and fast growth of peer-to-peer marketplaces.
“People on both sides needed a bit more money so the economic element boosted it but the real trend was in people wanting that authenticity and to travel differently and see a place through the eyes of the local.”
Gremillon defended the challenges airbnb continues to face around local taxation and other regulations and explained that it was because travellers and hosts care about these new businesses.
“There are discussions with regulators but this is normal because it is a new type of business and it’s normal that it moves the line and people ask questions.”
Afternoon sessions moved away from new entrants to reveal the low-down on the latest trends in travel booking behaviour.
PhoCusWright provided European traveler technology insights drawn from research published earlier this year. The research reveals that the 55+ age group predominantly use PCs for planning but just over a fifth use tablets for destination selection. The 35 to 54 age group, meanwhile, rely more heavily on mobile devices and tablets for destination selection. And, Millennials (aged 18 to 34) depend on smartphone for destination selection, shopping and booking.
PhoCusWright, Business Development, Europe, Florence Kaci said:
“Today what is really important is to understand the young population – their behaviour, what they do with devices day-to-day, what do they expect, how frequently do they log-in – and based on that define your development strategy.”
Also picking up on trends among Millennial travellers was new research from the WYSE Travel Confederation.
Findings include that family and friends are the most influential source of travel information for 67% travellers. However,
80% of respondents said travel reviews have a real influence on their decisions, with 56% posting online reviews after a trip.
Insights from the WYSE report also support the PhoCusWright study in terms of reliance on mobile with 43% using their mobiles every five minutes.
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World Travel Market, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend four-day business-to-business exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry.
More than 50,000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international press, embark on ExCeL – London every November to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry opinion and trends at WTM.
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