Bartercard Look at Future Trends for the Tourism Industry

Friday 16 August 2019, 1:56PM
By Beckie Wright

In this month’s final press release of this three-part series, Bartercard look at future trends for the tourism industry, noting that the entry of disruptive platforms such as Airbnb have changed the face of the travel and tourism industry, as accommodation operators grapple with the reality of competing with ‘hosts’ of residential properties in their locality.

Airbnb provides a cost-effective stay or experience as an alternative to traditional accommodation options by allowing individuals to act as ‘hosts’ or merchants in the tourism sector, supplementing existing income streams or creating new ones. Through Airbnb’s platform, individuals can turn investment properties, holiday homes, and even spare rooms in their everyday dwellings into rentable space for domestic and international tourists.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) may also play a part in the travel and tourism industry in the near future. AI could automatise the personalisation and customisation of travel products, and streamline delivery of hotel and resort operator systems. AI may play a valuable role in the future of travel and tourism by providing cost-savings that would ultimately contribute to operators’ profitability. If properly harnessed, newly developed block-chain technology may have a significant impact on tourism product distribution. Future tourism industry stakeholders may use block-chain technology to reduce distribution platform commissions, allowing the operator to retain significant portions of profitability.

Accommodation and tourism operators can now distribute their product through more channels than ever before. While it is likely that many operators will continue to seek direct business and use traditional wholesalers and OTA  (Online Travel Agency) platforms to generate revenue, there is a wide range of innovative alternative travel distribution channels currently available, that provide incremental sales, distressed inventory solutions and access to new groups of consumers not captured by major distributors. Ultimately, until travel and tourism operators are at full capacity year-round, travel distributors of all types can rely on an increasing reservoir of consumer business.

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