“Three Screens” is Out, Universal Digital Is In
The idea of three screens has been valuable in expanding our ideas and ability to reach travelers across a spectrum of devices, but we are past it now. The next year will be one in which innovations in travel technology are made in such a way that all methods of correspondence are available to travelers—text, email, voice—and all applications and software are available in the same format across all devices. Ultimately, it means that the guest has total control over the way they plan their travel and communicate while on the road.
Mobile Check-in Sets the Standard, But Not the Way You Think
To the above point, mobile check-in is one example of a technology that has previously been thought of as a device-specific capability, and thought of in this way, it is limiting. But what forward-thinking mobile check-in companies have created is more than a way to tell a hotel about impending arrival; it’s actually a means of communicating that has opened a door to allowing guests to check-in from any device with or without an app, to send and receive text message with the front desk, and to customize their stay with ancillary selections. In this way, mobile check-in sets the standard for guest communication as a whole.
The Face of Search Will Change
The idea that we still type “Maui hotel” in a search engine or OTA is hard to believe. Big data allows travelers much bigger capabilities than this. A spectrum of ways to empower travelers to search for what they really want (i.e., an all-inclusive, beachside resort with scuba diving and fine dining) in the form of Recommendation Engines will appear on the scene in 2015, we predict. We also think you’ll see the ability to search reviews and effectively include subjective terms such as “quiet” or “good service” or “nice location.”
Groups Will Demand Online Booking & Planning Capabilities
It is time! Groups deserve the same ease of planning as other travelers, if not more since they are so important to the bottom line. Moreover, they are going to demand it by deferring to hotels that offer the most efficient and effective planning process. This means finding rates and discounts online and the ability to plan at least some of their details online.