The travel industry today is highly competitive with multiple players and travel platforms vying for top space within their niche. Price wars, cutting-edge promotional campaigns, challenges of safety and security, and round-the-clock operations mark the travel sector. In this fast paced business environment, it is the company or agency that outperforms competition that survives and flourishes.
Travel businesses function across a wide spectrum of travel and hospitality services. They may be localised, for instance, a London based bespoke tour agency, or spread across geographies, like a pan-Europe chain of hotels. However, as the world gets more “connected” in real time, what we are seeing is a rise in the digitalisation of travel. Travel arrangements, flight bookings, hotel stays and cruises, are increasingly accessed online. What’s more, the rise in millennial travel has witnessed a greater use of mobile applications, generating huge data.
According to the Allied Market Research, the ‘Online Travel Market’ is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 11.1% (2016-2022). The exponential growth in online travel is driven by instant bookings, customer confidence, and the ease of comparing available travel options.
With the increase in volume and drive for efficiency travel companies are turning to the help of experts like ICE to provide visibility of the customer needs and to automate many back office processes.
The relevance of reporting and BI solutions in Travel industry
In order to compete, tour operators, cruise lines, airlines, hotels, and travel portals must have access to data-driven insights for effective performance.
The travel industry is data-intensive, churning data at every step. From the moment a customer registers at an online booking portal, he creates a wealth of data. From his demographics and geographic location, to his preferences, flight paths, hotel bookings and destinations, data is generated continuously. When such information is combined with external data like social media and applications in real time, a huge amount of insights is obtained.
The voluminous data generated is of little use, unless mined for insights. A unified view of data using Business Intelligence (BI) tools for reporting, analysis and forecasting, supports comprehensive travel management. It allows meaningful insights in real-time dashboards, for immediate analysis and modelling. Metrics and KPIs can be established for automated alerts and deep insights into business performance. For example, the effectiveness of marketing campaigns for certain products, customer segmentation in a particular channel or for a specific vacation package, the probability of repeat future bookings whilst on a cruise, and so on.
The BI Trajectory – from reporting dashboards to insights
The rich, intuitive BI dashboard gives senior executives and marketers a simple way to tap into big datasets for visualisation and reports in minutes. Tasks that previous might take a full-time resource 5 days to produce. At the same time, the BI tools enable granular views of various key metrics and answers to questions.
Reporting and Visualisation in real time
BI unlocks the power of data, with reporting dashboards for real time visualisation. Custom-made reports can be generated instantly. This enables the C-suite leadership to see the sectors that generate maximum sales in a given month, or say, non-functioning channels. With BI, an airline booking portal can generate reports on loss-incurring sectors, and high performing assets for effective decision-making.
Unlocking the power of Big Data
Online travel market generates massive data that can be unlocked for deep data-driven insights. Disparate datasets can be leveraged to understand lean or popular booking seasons, age-groups of travellers, city or country with maximum sales, and more. The insights available can further be used for demographic marketing like special offers for children, discounts for pensioners during lean seasons, targeted marketing in the city where maximum sales are generated, and more.
The online behaviour of customers (in B2C) and travel agents (in B2B), can be analysed to predict profitable sectors in a shoulder season, consumer trends in the next quarter, or offer unique deals, establish differential pricing and so on. For instance, TopDeck Travel (part of APT Touring Group) in the UK and Australia uses This year/last year (TYLY) reporting dashboards to quickly ascertain how each product is performing day by day so that price points can be adjusted against pace to effectively maximise yield.
Benefits of BI solutions
Data-driven insights available within BI, help businesses succeed in a crowded, competitive marketplace.
Customer insights – Dashboards incorporate key metrics related to customer transactions, and channels of touchpoints, facilitating data profiling for customer retention.
Competitive Marketing – The dashboard reporting of BI drives a data-driven approach to marketing. Businesses are better able to optimise marketing investments in real-time and streamline marketing processes for standardisation and accountability.
Superior asset performance – High-quality reports using real time data are particularly useful for sectors like airlines and cruising, where assets are the underpinnings of business performance. BI empowers reduction in operational costs and better inventory utilisation of the high-value critical assets.
Improved service – As travel and hospitality are service-driven, data-driven insights have a powerful role in service delivery. How can we understand the customer needs better? Where does the service fall short? Which channels of engagement can ensure higher customer loyalty?
Higher revenues – Decisions powered by analytics and BI, can better strategise business operations, pricing, higher ROMI, and brand building for ultimate higher revenues.
Real-time tracking – Online platforms enable real-time tracking of resources and assets. So while an airline can understand the loss-making areas for decision making; a travel portal can analyse the customer life-cycle value for promotional offers and chatbot messaging.
Trend modelling – BI reports reveal trends in bookings, markets, service types or channels. Such information can be used for adapting to changing markets and better resource management.
The global travel market is huge and constantly evolving. Reporting and dashboard tools within the BI, offer detailed insights in real time. Key drivers, restraints, and opportunities with respect to the mode of booking, types of platform, service types, age groups, and geographies, enable the stakeholders to take appropriate decisions in the right time. With ever more access to travel related data, companies can gain great value from investing in a well thought out business intelligence solution.
ICE Technology Services specialise in building solutions that interrogate data from multiple sources and provide accurate and valuable insight to enable our customers to react quickly to changes in the marketplace. For more information visit http://www.iceict.net/our-services/consultancy-services/