TravelTech Show research reveals AI and booking systems 'top priorities' for travel tech stacks

TravelTech Show research reveals AI and booking systems 'top priorities' for travel tech stacks

Industry to increase investment as websites 'most effective' at driving bookings

Ahead of this year’s event, new data from TravelTech Show has revealed the key trends and priorities of travel companies. 

One hundred travel and travel technology company representatives were surveyed this month.

The data found 62% of travel buyer respondents said they expect their budgets to increase over the next 12 months with over a quarter (28%) of increases expected to be by as much as 20%.

AI looks set to take the lion’s share of those budgets with 56% stating they are planning to invest in it over the next year. 

Booking and reservation systems followed with 32% and mobile and apps came in third with 20%. 

At the same time, 80% also stated they plan to increase their use of AI specifically in the year ahead. 

Nearly a third (32%) expect to see it having the biggest impact on customer service and customer experience, whilst almost a quarter (24%) stated it will add value to applying customer preferences to make targeted recommendations. 

20% expect it to have the most impact on booking assistants.

Often seen as a key driver for bookings social media looks set to be in a potential decline as websites were voted as the best for driving bookings (40%), followed by OTAs at 20%, and search engines and social media sharing joint third position for 16% of buyers. 

With an ever-increasing number of tools and platforms coming to the market, whilst operators are aware of what the options are, they are also keeping a keen eye on where and how they are having an impact on operations, revenue and profitability. 

68% stated that technology is helping to mitigate the impact of inflation and staff shortages. 

More broadly the main benefits of technology are seen as increased efficiency (32%), followed by increased revenue and profitability, guest relations and personalisation and managing bookings, all sharing second place with 12% of buyers each.  

Nimet Sayeed, event manager of TravelTech Show, said: “Unquestionably travel companies are keeping a keener eye than ever before on attracting new bookings, response rates and meeting customer needs. 

"All of which continue to take priority against the backdrop of continuous market changes, whilst at the same time seeking to deliver profitability and growth. 

"New solutions entering the market offer a practical and effective roadmap to achieving these objectives," she said. 

"Whilst the majority of companies are set to increase their investment in new technology in the year ahead, to ensure a return on that investment, and for any new technology to be effective, it is vital that operators have a clear and present understanding of what their business challenges and objectives are so that they can implement the best-fit solution to their tech stack."

She added: “There has been a marked shift towards greater online interaction and behaviour by both the customer and the operator in recent times, for every stage of the customer journey. For many operators much of their success is down to the agility and efficiency technology delivers. 

"As AI continues to evolve, arguably it might be regarded as a ‘one stop shop’, that can answer many of the questions that operators are being faced with. 

"This year’s TravelTech Show will enable operators to find out more about just how many questions AI and other solutions can answer across the two-day programme of exhibitors, panels and networking sessions.”

This year's event will take place from June 19-20 at ExCeL, London.