On average, 54% of travel and hospitality brands have seen or expect to see more bookings this year compared to last year
Colorado Springs, Colo. – May 23, 2023— Quantum Metric, the Continuous Product Design platform for customer-driven digital experiences, today announced the findings of its 2023 Travel Benchmark Report series, which surveyed travel and hospitality executives in the United States to assess the current state of the industry. The reports reveal that despite today’s recessionary environment, travel and hospitality brands will be charging more for services and expect consumers will spend more to travel.
While seemingly contradictory to budget concerns, findings show that consumers are not just traveling more, but opting to book directly with travel brands versus OTAs that compete on price. In fact, 70% of travel brands say direct bookings have increased over the last 12 months. Investments over the next few months could indicate how travel organizations compete with OTAs in the future. Additionally, budget cuts to customer experience could cause travel brands to lose ground, with 50% worried that their lack of investments will drive consumers back to OTAs. However, findings show that those who continue to invest in customer experiences could reach new heights for brand loyalty.
Other findings for the reports include:
Luxury travel will be big in 2023.
Luxury offerings could be a major driver for a continued booking surge with 99% of brands saying they have or plan to introduce more luxury services to customers within the next six months. Packaged trips that offer all-inclusive experiences was the top ranked choice (32%) when describing the new types of luxury services being offered – a fitting choice when looking to bring in consumers with elevated experiences, while being conscious of budget.
Doubling down on AI and digital experiences will set brands apart
Eighty-eight percent of brands have plans to implement generative AI tools into their booking experience in the next 12 months, with nearly 50% saying that AI would be used to enhance self-service options for customer support. However, with executives noting loyalty programs and mobile app features or services as the areas of their digital experiences with the biggest gaps, we can likely expect AI solutions to sprout up for these areas as well.
However, when it comes to technology used to enhance customer experiences, only 44% of airlines have made new technology investments or updated processes to mitigate customer frustrations due to flight delays and cancellations– an area where airlines continue to see high rates of customer frustration.
Businesses travel is back on the rise
The report found that nearly 65% of hospitality brands have seen business travel booking grow by at least 25%. In fact, over 20% of brands said they’ve seen bookings grow by 50% or more – a tell-tale sign that corporate travel is continuing to reemerge. What’s more, travel brands are also taking advantage of “bleisure” travelers. When asked if they are offering services to encourage extended bookings from business travelers and/or remote workers, nearly 35% of brands said they are offering hotel room upgrade deals that offer more space and nearly 20% say they are offering discounted rates/ mid-week deals.
Brands need to showcase their investment in sustainability
When it comes to showing customers commitment to causes that are important to them – like sustainability — brands are missing the mark. The survey found that 95% percent of brands have seen customer appetite for green travel options increase in the last 12 months and over 40% say they have begun to offer new sustainable services. However, only 22% provide clear and accessible information on their sustainable actions and initiatives – an easy way to draw in new (and appeal to existing) customers for initiatives that are already in place.
“It’s no surprise that consumers are continuing to prioritize spending on experiences,” said Danielle Harvey, VP, travel and hospitality strategy at Quantum Metric. “However, customer expectations are at an all-time high and they’re willing to try different brands to find the best experiences and price. Today’s brands have a lot of room to continue delivering better digital journeys – and that all starts by understanding where the customer is and tailoring offerings to not only meet but exceed expectations – otherwise, they could be looking at once-loyal customers who have now jumped ship.”
The Travel Benchmark Report series is available on the Quantum Metric website, broken into a report for hotels and airlines.
Quantum Metric conducted a survey of 500 travel and hospitality executives in the United States via Pollfish in May 2023 to assess the current state of travel and hospitality.
About Quantum Metric
As the pioneer in Continuous Product Design, Quantum Metric helps organizations put customers at the heart of everything they do. The Quantum Metric platform provides a structured approach to understanding the digital customer journey, enabling organizations to recognize customer needs, quantify the financial impact and prioritize based on the impact to the customer and business’ bottom line. Today, Quantum Metric captures insights from 40% of the world’s internet users, supporting globally recognized brands across industries including retail, travel, financial services and telecommunications. For more information about Quantum Metric, visit www.quantummetric.com.