Why you can't ignore personalisation in travel

If there is one buzzword in the travel industry that you cannot afford to ignore over the coming months, it is 'personalisation'. Today's travellers know what they want and that involves unique and original experiences and itineraries designed to fit their specifications. As a result, forward-thinking travel companies are not only rushing to meet these needs, they are also planning to boost their bottom line with carefully tailored offers that offer real value to their customers – and they're doing it right from the very early stages of the travel planning process.

But of course, personalisation is, by its very nature, down to what it is the consumer wants. That is why we were intrigued by recent research from Sabre which shed some light on just what customers expect when it comes to personalisation. The study, carried out through Censuswide, interviewed 2,000 travellers in the UK to find out what they expect from travel brands when it comes to personalisation and to find out how much cash they are willing to part with when adding a few extras onto the trip of their dreams.

What do traveller's expect?

The results offered some useful tips for travel brands to engage with their customers. More than half of the respondents (52%) cited companies addressing them by name in communications as an indication of a personalised service whilst only slightly less (49%) wanted companies to only send offers and services that are relevant to their interests and situation.

Which industries do it best?

If there was an industry to emulate when it comes to personalisation, it appears to be banks and the hotel industry – these were voted the top two industries associated with providing a personalised service. One quarter of travellers cited banks as most likely to offer a personalised service, but hotels were not far behind with 21% of the votes. In contrast, only 8% cited airlines as the industry most associated with personalisation – looks like they could take a leaf from the book of the hotel industry.

How much will they spend?

When it came to cold hard cash, British travellers stated they would be prepared to spend an average of £61 to improve their experience. The majority (66%) were willing to spend money on extras with 15% of this figure stating they would be willing to spend more than £100. In comparison, 33% stated they would not be willing to purchase any extras to tailor their trip further.

How do age and gender compare?

The research discovered the under-35s (hello, Millennials) are most willing to spend significantly more in order to receive a personalised service from their hotels and airlines than the over-55s. The findings demonstrate, yet again, that the younger generation present a lucrative opportunity for airlines and hotels to create bespoke offerings that match their personal specifications.

Finally, the study took a look at which gender was most likely to spend more to personalise their experience. Women were more likely to spend on air ancillaries (71% compared to 63% of men) and they were also more likely to spend extra on hotel ancillaries too (73% compared to 64% of men).

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