Is the Future of Travel and Hospitality Data-driven?


In the fast-paced era of personalization set by tech giants like Netflix and Amazon, European travel and hospitality brands face increasing pressure to cater to their customers’ evolving demands. Achieving traveler satisfaction now hinges on delivering personalized experiences, from trip research to post-trip reviews. Despite the clear value of personalization, many European brands struggle with implementing data-driven strategies effectively.

Navigating the Data Maze: Challenges in Personalization

While travel and hospitality brands possess more customer data than ever before, managing this data presents a complex challenge. Brands must build their first-party data repositories to comply with privacy regulations and the waning relevance of third-party cookies. However, various hurdles impede their quest for data-driven personalization.

Challenges in Understanding Customer Data

  • Messy Booking Data: A wealth of data from online travel agencies, hotels, airlines, and car rental services poses difficulties in connecting and ownership. The result is a lack of personalization.
  • Fractured Identities: Customers share inconsistent identifiers across channels and devices, fragmenting their identities. Without a unified view, personalization falters.
  • Siloed Data: Personalization should span the entire customer journey, but siloed data and a lack of trust in data accuracy hinder seamless personalization at each touchpoint.
  • Legacy Tools: Data Management Platforms (DMPs) are losing effectiveness due to evolving privacy concerns and data regulations. Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) are emerging as the preferred solution in the new data landscape.

Urgent Need for Data Intelligence

In a rapidly evolving digital landscape, travel and hospitality brands require swift, powerful, and flexible Customer Data Platforms (CDPs). These CDPs must revolutionize the end-to-end data management process by focusing on:

By investing in robust data management systems, utilizing employee data, and prioritizing guest experience enhancement, European travel and hospitality brands can excel in personalization. Harnessing the power of personalization allows brands to create memorable travel experiences, driving success in an ever-evolving industry.

Four Data-Driven Strategies for Travel and Hospitality Brands

  • Reacting to Intent Signals: Travellers decide quickly, so brands must initiate targeted marketing as soon as they detect shopping intent.
  • Beyond Loyalty Programs: Brands must earn loyalty anew by combining loyalty program data with other sources and focusing on the customer rather than the program.
  • Personalization at Every Touchpoint: Extend customer data use beyond marketing to customize experiences throughout travelers’ journeys.
  • First-Party Data Collection: With privacy restrictions limiting third-party data use, brands must shift towards building their first-party data collection to better understand and serve their customers.

Through data-driven strategies and a commitment to enhancing guest experiences, brands can rise above current challenges. The goal is to create a future where every traveler feels understood, valued, and inspired by their journey, elevating the entire guest experience.

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