Digitalization as a Vehicle for Travel

Written by Rikard Hellerfelt, VP e-Commerce at LINK Mobility Group

Rikard specializes in e-commerce and digital management. For nearly twenty years he has worked with a wide range of organizations across a multitude of industries around the globe. Helping people grow, exploring business opportunities, and supporting organizations to succeed in their digital transformations have shaped his longstanding career.

In an era where bookings are confirmed in milliseconds and trips can be planned in seconds, it is difficult to imagine what life was like in the “golden age of travel.” Nowadays, travel is more accessible, affordable, and convenient than ever before thanks to technology. In our latest guest blog VP of e-commerce at LINK Mobility, Rikard Hellerfelt, explores digitalization within the travel industry.

An industry in transformation

The ability to collect data, analyze it and act upon it is a key benefit of digitalization. Today’s consumers expect a more individualized experience and experience that is tailored to them. The travel and hospitality industries are no exception. Businesses are increasingly adopting technologies to capture personal data about customers and better understand their behavioral patterns, enabling them to optimize services across the customer journey. The effect of the pandemic has to a large extent acted as a catalyst for digitalization. At the same time, travel and hospitality has seen a hiatus in demand. Meaning that there is a widening expectation gap between the consumer expectations on digitalization and what is possible to experience as a traveler.

Passenger journey redefined

Across the globe, the travel industry continues to be transformed at a rapid pace thanks to digital innovation. The World Economic Forum’s Digital Transformation Initiative (DTI) estimates that, from 2016 to 2025, digitalization will generate benefits of up to US $700 billion for consumers and society, as well as grow profitability for the aviation, travel, and tourism industry by US $305 billion. As consumer behavior changes, the traveler journey changes with it. Introducing the Traveler Cycle Stages® we able to map out several events along the journey and put them in relation to context and setting. Each of these events is an opportunity for digitalization and communication.

Digitalization debt

Travel and hospitality are industries which, apart from heavy regulations, are also associated with capital intensity and a large degree of fragmentation. Add to this a couple of lost years due to the pandemic, where there’s been an underinvestment due to budget restraints. That accumulates to a digitization debt and consequently, a market potential that’s under-exploited. Like most untapped potentials, it comes with opportunity.

“Do not let the memories of your past limit the potential of your future.” – Roy T. Bennett

Turn into opportunity

To me, digitalization should be treated as an opportunity, not a barrier. You can keep it simple and uncomplicated while still creating a lot of value. This is because creating a seamless experience between live and online experiences is easier than you think. It’s all about thinking holistically and putting the consumer in the center of the experience. It’s critical to be equipped with the proper tools and channels to execute and orchestrate. But it starts and finishes at the drawing board of what conveniences, solutions, and value you want to offer to the consumer.

Digitalization fuels communication needs

Though being far from the biggest industry in SMS traffic generation, Mobilesquared recently estimated that Travel & Hospitality will grow from 58.6b to 137.7b in 2025. That corresponds to a global +24% annually in AP2 SMS alone, positioning itself well above the average growth. This is only one out of many channels that are relevant for travel and hospitality. But it serves to manifest the underlying communication behavior that will be associated with the future traveler.

At LINK, we acknowledge the transition towards holistic communication levering Communication Platforms as a Service (CPaaS), where the communication occurs in the channels fit for purpose on each occasion, unique for every customer. The traveler use case is a good one of the communication challenges that CPaaS offers a solution to.

Matching LINK offering

Leveraging the communication suite of LINK Mobility, it’s never been easier to put thought into action. Our CPaaS solutions enable your brand to leverage the power of digitalization across industries on the right channel at the right time.

Read more on how our digital services can benefit you:

  • Communicate with customers through personalized, rich conversations 24/7 using Xenioo Conversational Platform.

  • Streamline secure digital payments and reduce delayed remittance with LINK Mobile Invoice.

  • Improve and evolve your mobile communication with LINK Insight Dashboard.

  • Integrate mobile services with your IT systems through LINK Messaging Gateway.

  • Reward loyal customers with LINK Coupon.

  • Collect valuable data and gain deeper insights with LINK Collect.

Reach out to your local LINK provider today to learn more.