£2.3million immigration hall upgrade plans at Bristol Airport

£2.3million immigration hall upgrade plans at Bristol Airport

Monday, 24 October 2016 14:00

Following ...

Intrepid targets socially conscious Gen Z with new Geckos age-range

Intrepid targets socially conscious Gen …

Monday, 24 October 2016 11:00

30 year olds will be ‘too old’ for Geckos Adventures next year, as the Intrepid Group has announced that it will cut the age range to meet a growing demand...

New survey reveals just one in 12 Brits manage to wangle an upgrade

New survey reveals just one in 12 Brits …

Monday, 24 October 2016 08:40

New research from Jetcost.co.uk has revealed that only 8% of British travellers have actually managed to secure a free upgrade for their holiday, with flight upgrades and hotel room upgrades...

Just You launches travel trade solo experience

Just You launches travel trade solo expe…

Friday, 21 October 2016 14:00

Just You has announced its largest investment to support the travel trade with the launch of 200 joint marketing events to promote solo travel.

Spontaneous people are happier according to Snaptrip survey

Spontaneous people are happier according…

Friday, 21 October 2016 11:00

Spontaneous people are often believed to lead more exciting or glamorous lifestyles and a new study has confirmed that they are happier in all aspects of their lives.

Top Brighton attractions on Combi-Saver tickets for half term

Top Brighton attractions on Combi-Saver …

Friday, 21 October 2016 09:00

Visitors to Brighton this October half term can save up to 20% on its top three paid-for attractions with combination tickets now available for British Airways i360, SEA LIFE Brighton...

Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Thursday, 20 October 2016 14:00

There still’s time for agents to book a Croisieurope river cruise for their customers with a free cabin upgrade on a range of river cruises throughout Europe, when booked with...

Last minute autumn breaks available at Haven

Last minute autumn breaks available at H…

Thursday, 20 October 2016 11:00

Agents can still give their customers a last minute family break this autumn from £99 when booking a Haven holiday between now and November 5.

Skiers urged to head east for best piste costs reveals new report

Skiers urged to head east for best piste…

Thursday, 20 October 2016 08:00

Cash-conscious skiers can avoid the slippery slope of higher prices for their annual downhill trip by heading to ski resorts in Eastern Europe.

Design an anniversary poster for DFDS competition

Design an anniversary poster for DFDS co…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 14:00

Ferry operator, DFDS, is putting out a call to professional and amateur artists to create a poster that will be used in their 150th anniversary celebrations this year.

Savings on worldwide adventures with Explore

Savings on worldwide adventures with Exp…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 11:00

Explore has launched a new collection of worldwide adventures with a launch offer of up to 10% discount on all new trips booked by November 7.

New route to Seattle makes it one to watch for 2017

New route to Seattle makes it one to wat…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 09:12

Seattle is expected to be one of the fastest growing US destinations for UK travellers next year with a Virgin Atlantic direct non-stop daily flight launching March 2017, new hotel...

Air Transat launches 2017 programme with increased connections across Canada

Air Transat launches 2017 programme with…

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:04

Air Transat has expanded its programme of flights from the UK to Canada with increased capacity and connections for travel in 2017.

Oceania Cruises reduces single supplement fares

Oceania Cruises reduces single supplemen…

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:02

Oceania Cruises has launched a reduced single supplement promotion for solo travellers, with guests offered single supplements fares from 25% on seven itineraries, booked before December 31.

Mall of America welcomes arrival of MythBusters

Mall of America welcomes arrival of Myth…

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:00

Running throughout autumn until January 15, 2017, visitors can ignite their curiosity and discover whether they can really huff and puff to blow a house down; if running in the...

Emirates to launch new daily service to Fort Lauderdale

Emirates to launch new daily service to …

Monday, 17 October 2016 11:00

Emirates has announced that it will launch a daily service between Dubai and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, on December 15, serving the South Florida area, including Fort Lauderdale, Miami and...

As the shared economy phenomenon continues its march forward it’s clear that a brave new world for the travel and hospitality industry is right around the corner.

And at the recent Phocuswright conference in the US, which brings together senior travel and hospitality executives, we caught a glimpse of what could be in store for 2016.

The conference is a great place to start. One of the major talking points at Phocuswright concentrated on how the traditional mainstream players have been somewhat slow to react to the changing nature of modern travel and hospitality. But with the arrival of AirBnB, the ‘old boys’ have now been forced to sit up and take notice. So much so that major players like Booking.com and Expedia have diversified their services in order to claim their slice of the cake. Expedia’s acquisition of HomeAway and Booking.com’s purchase of Open Table represent very aggressive moves into the rental and restaurant markets respectively.

Then there is the growing prospect that smart technology might become a real possibility for 2016. It seems consistently to be top of the prediction list, but with Internet of things (IoT) it is no longer some far-fetched idea but a reality.

Because of the enhanced technology now available, mobile will move faster than ever before. IoT allows several devices to correspond with one another and in time the novel ‘toys’ that it enables, such as Smart watches etc., will come to be the technologies we rely on everyday. But more importantly it will be a key player in hospitality, as it will be used for making easy reservations, quick check-ins and much more.

So, how can OTAs (Online Travel Agencies) make up the ground?

1. Diversify their services

Identifying the importance of catering to as many of the travellers’ needs and desires is key to success these days. Offering one platform is a must, making it an easy journey from start to finish. 2016 will see the arrival of more diverse yet streamlined customer services.

2. Make the platform easy to navigate

More and more consumers are shifting to handsets rather than desktops when searching for traffic. This year saw a 50% growth in travel related mobile searches with Google’s new interface leading the field. The initial destination search presents users with an inspiring digest of relevant content, even suggesting best travel date based on weather and price.

3. Streamline your customer services

Streamlining will be king in 2016.

As for innovations in this field, I suggest a look at Tansler inc – a vacation rental marketplace that allows renters to name their price, choose multiple homes and submit one binding offer. Then there is Travefy – a travel-planning platform with tools to collaborate on trip details, build extensive itineraries, and collect shared expenses. A particular favourite of mine, Trekkable - a service that helps to find and book the best accessible rooms for those with mobility challenges. And finally, Proxce – a system using Bluetooth and Geofencing to identify guests in real time allowing auto check-in, keyless entry to hotel rooms and personalized non-intrusive contextual content, be it in a hotel, airport or a restaurant.

Strap in for 2016, because we are set for a hell of a ride.

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