Travel brands need to ensure they maintain the human element as they go about incorporating more and more technology into their business, according to Skift.
The travel experts name 'humanity' as one of its 'megatrends' for 2017.
By its own admission, it has come full circle on the matter of whether or not travellers still require some sort of human interaction as they go about realising their travel aspirations.
In 2014, it suggested "the human part of the service economy may become less and less important". It went as far to suggest that travellers "shun" human interaction as they are quite happy doing everything themselves.
Three years later, however, it says that people are overwhelmed by the extreme effects of a digital-led life and that highly connected travellers want the humanity back in travel.
So what exactly is it that travel brands can do to make travellers feel like they're interacting with real people at different points during the buyer journey?
1. Use data for good
Thanks to technology, travel brands can glean a whole load of personal information on their customers without having to really try. However, when travellers hand over the details, they expect something worthwhile in return.
Instead of just transferring that data into another piece of tech and automate future interaction, travel firms should use the information to provide something "novel", Skift says.
By all means make use of the automation tools, but ensure the content that feeds it is created by human intelligence – people can see straight through automated communication.
2. Use social media as it's meant to be used
Social media wasn't created for brands to push their content to users as a means to drive traffic to their websites. Facebook has sought to take back its platform over the past 18 months, making it harder for brands to achieve organic reach and get their content into users' timelines by tweaking its algorithm.
Travel firms should see this as an opportunity to get out onto the platform and interact with travellers who, by the way, have a ton of great content themselves that can prove useful for brands. It's all in the name of giving customers an opportunity to engage with the people behind a brand and providing them with a human-centric, empathetic experience.
3. Keep things fresh
Keeping your website fresh with new content and offers will go a long way to showing your visitors that you are listening to their wants and needs. It's all in the name of personalising their experience – making it feel like your website is made just for them.
While this doesn't scream 'humanity', it does prove that your brand is being run by real-life humans whose sole interest is pleasing their customers. Sometimes it can feel like a business is working on auto-pilot all the time, with nobody ever taking the wheel.
Our award-winning eVolve CMS gives the client complete control over their website. This gives them the ability to constantly create new and personalised content for customers, showing them that they are using their data for good.