Humanising technology that is convenient, seamless and means people do not have to ask questions is meeting the demands of a younger generation of travelers.
Marcello Mastioni, vice president and managing director EMEA at Expedia-owned HomeAway, told the Travel Distribution Summit its clients value unique experiences.
Speaking in a keynote session on how travel firms can exploit emerging technologies he said: “Travellers of the future are spontaneous, they seek our unique experiences. The question is how do you deal with this audience.
“This audience is different. They behave differently. They travel more within a group, with family, and they travel by car shorter distances.
“They stay for shorter periods of time and they book in advance. It’s about making things intuitive and seamless. People do not want to have to ask questions.”
The HomeAway app has been designed to change so that it reflects where the customer is in the booking and travel process and provide the most relevant information.
This allows push notifications and instructions to be delivered before the customer requests them.
Mastioni said the app has also been designed to allow information to be easily shared by the group, functionality he said has proved extremely popular.
He said socialising information in this way has seen the average number of people using the app per stay is around three, meaning most customer are using the app.
“We think this is a tangible, practical example of what it means to think about solutions that meet the needs of emerging consumers and a younger audience.”
HomeAway also offers a home owners’ version of the app. “The industry is heading towards more professionalisation. It enables more and more participation in the travel industry.”