skip navigation
skip mega-menu

5 digital trends shaping travel and leisure

Still recovering from the impacts of the pandemic, the travel and leisure industry is not estimated to overcome 2019’s peak performances until at least 2024.

And with further economic headwinds on the horizon and domestic tourism continuing to drive the recovery of the sector – UK businesses that fail to deliver seamless break-booking customer experiences face getting left behind.

From personalised digital customer journeys to integrated technologies, businesses must invest in customer-first solutions to remain competitive in the years ahead. 

Here are 5 digital trends shaping the travel and tourism sector in 2023. 

Customer experience in the spotlight 

Customer expectations of what great customer experience looks like has shifted significantly since the pandemic.

Despite high satisfaction ratings, negative sentiment is on the rise. Operational capacity is strained, staffing challenges are widespread, and hotel amenities and services remain substantially down. 

This means that the way that businesses respond to customer service requests and deliver experiences is more important than ever. We’re seeing a growing trend in businesses investing in platforms to build relationships and enable customers to self-serve their needs as quickly as possible.

Connecting with customers before, during and after their booking or journey is becoming essential to help generate positive feedback and drive engagement online across search and social media. 

As travel volumes increase and business travellers return, there is potential for a wave of customer dissatisfaction – at a time when loyalty is up for grabs. In this changing landscape, businesses that prioritise CX can cater to this, build resilience, and future-proof their business. 

Agile technology 

With customer demands and trends ever-changing, smart businesses are investing in robust, adaptable technology to power their business. This way, they are best placed to deliver the experiences today’s consumers expect and maintain a competitive edge.

So businesses can update and add features as customer demands evolve, cloud-based and open source systems, featuring modular and easily customisable components including CMS, CRM, booking engines and payment gateways will become the technology of choice for the sector. 

The use of apps has also not only changed how people book and plan their travel, but also how they experience it. Apps are becoming the go-to for consumers in the travel and leisure industry, and more and more businesses are investing in app technology to streamline operations and improve their customer experience.

From custom itineraries and recommendations to promotions, discounts and exclusive offers – businesses are leveraging mobile apps to provide customers with greater convenience, while at the same time reducing operational costs and enhancing customer loyalty. 

Integrated revenue management 

Across many sectors, including travel and leisure, there is an ever-increasing need for seamless and integrated revenue management systems.

By leveraging the most up-to-date data, business owners can now optimise their pricing strategies in reaction to fluctuating customer demand to maximise profitability.

By investing in the right digital tools, travel and leisure businesses can gain the agility and responsiveness needed to manage the complexity of today’s customer expectations and be ready for what comes next.

The rise of beyond the booking experiences 

Guests are now looking for a holistic travel experience, going beyond the traditional online travel agent booking website – think mini-guides, activities, wellness and eco-experiences.

To stay competitive, travel and leisure businesses must integrate a personalised ‘onboarding’ service with pre-arrival notifications, recommendations, and discounts from local businesses.

Data-driven customer journeys 

Consumers are increasingly expecting personalised travel experiences, which is increasingly being enabled by hotel and resort owners leveraging data to tailor bespoke offers.

By leveraging customer data and feedback, you can optimise the customer journey for greater customer satisfaction and repeat bookings.

. . . 

Looking for support with your next digital initiative? Let’s talk

Explore jobs at Code Computerlove

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up here