What can your travel business learn from a 16 year old?

When it comes to sourcing tips and advice for advancing your travel business, considering the point of view of a 16 year old might not necessarily be the first course of action that springs to mind. Yet, according to a recent article by Tnooz, Skyscanner's commercial chief Frank Skivington believes this is exactly the age group whose digital behaviour can inform us of the direction mobile booking is headed in the industry. After all, the 16 year-old of today is the top-spending consumer of tomorrow.

Speaking at the recent ACTE/CAPA event in Amsterdam on the gathering momentum of mobile in the travel industry, Skivington noted that some of the world's top airlines in particular are missing a trick by neglecting to cater to the generation that lives, breathes and sleeps mobile. Tnooz reported that of the top 150 airlines around the globe, only 77 have a mobile app whilst only 60% of the top 150 airline websites are optimised for mobile.

Although he criticised the user experience that these airlines were offering, Skivington did give a nod to airlines such as KLM who have been embracing the chatbot - again, the kind of messaging services that are popular amongst the teenagers of today. However, this kind of forward-thinking technology simply isn't being used as widely as it could be, particularly when it comes to the direct channel.

In fact, Skivington pointed out that the common misconception in airlines and distribution is that the only direct channel is a brand's website when this isn't really the case in this day and age. There are a growing number of channels where direct sales can be made (asking Siri for flight information was cited as an example) without booking through an airline's website.

By paying attention to the digital technology trends amongst younger consumers, travel businesses can inform their strategy and make plans for the future. However, chatbots and new direct channels aside, if you don't have the basics covered when it comes to your website then you're not even keeping up with the present, let alone preparing for the future.

Our sophisticated booking platform is fully optimised for mobile, allowing you to keep up with the digital trends and connect with customers on any device - giving them the opportunity to book while they're on the go. For more information on how we can help you engage your customers on the small screen, contact us at Digital Trip today.