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Industry innovation: Insider perspectives on how to make tourism better

(You can read our first article, covering the Aviation Track, here).Next up, Tourism...The in-destination segment - worth an estimated global value pegged at over $150 billion - continues to capture its fair share of attention in the broader travel industry.

It’s also indicative of just how fierce the competition is for in-destination dollars. The rising competition among these platforms was one of the top challenges discussed at last month’s Travel Disruption Summit, Voyager HQ’s symposium for travel leaders and innovators.One of the Summit’s biggest goals is to facilitate these types of invigorating conversations that can kickstart change;

Attendees are placed with a group that impacts the same focus area within travel, and a moderator guides the conversation at each table. To unlock some of the insights from each table, we’ve asked our moderators to summarize their notes and share the most pertinent tidbits from the conversation.Below you’ll find perspectives from some of the roundtable moderators on the Tourism track.

These types of personalized experiences would not be possible without recent advancements in machine learning and artificial intelligence, combined with the radical shift in transparency we have seen from the industry around data privacy policy regulations.Don't let fancy terms like machine learning and AI fool you though.

For example: Virtual Assistants can help travel agents with basic tasks while they negotiate and build excellent travel packages. There is a general lack of loyalty when it comes to B2C, and companies must provide the best services and best prices to capture a market.

As a result, the focus of our roundtable highlighted the importance of brand experience in search, the customer journey in search, and the evolution of new search opportunities in-destination.The discussion on brand highlighted the importance of brand signals in establishing the SEO authority of websites.

In the Can’t-Wait-To-Explore Moments when a traveler has booked a trip, in becomes important to consider in-destination search - 85% of travelers don’t know what activities they’ll participate in until they get to their destination.With In-destination search, there is a huge battle brewing.

requirements vary greatly from market to market (SMS to pay in South Africa , no credit cards in Germany), so we need to appreciate and accommodate preferences.In general, Travel is behind as an industry in thinking strategically on payment strategy.

However, we agree there is no future for the physical payment methods we have seen in the past and present – meaning physical cards, physical checks, physical cc terminals and maybe even physical currency (cash).

Loyalty as a form of payment continues to make huge advances, but some question of the scalability of the current model. These new models demonstrate that customers want to be able to pay for travel from anywhere, any time, using any transaction type, any format and using any model – companies that do not meet the customer there are at risk of losing them.Overall, there are no silver bullets for payments in travel, but a highly qualified and dedicated team are essential for success.

We were mindful of issues of sustainability, over-tourism, and environmental change.When we tried to come up with ways to promulgate change through technology, it begged the question of how startups can survive in this industry while simultaneously trying to thread long-term technology and social trends.It was difficult in a short time-frame to craft specific solutions, but our collaborative discussion gave us hope that through partnership and consciousness, we can indeed accomplish this goal.

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