Trends in Travel, Tourism and Technology 2013


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A presentation for ICTT 2013 (International Conference on Travel Technology India) in Kovalam, Kerala. Most of the slides have notes as well.

Conference website:

My Tourism Currents team and I do online and in-person training in social media for tourism and hospitality -

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  • Current trends in travel, technology and tourism by Sheila Scarborough of Tourism Currents, for ICTT India 2013 (International Conference on Travel Technology) in Kovalam, Kerala
  • Summary of the presentation. There are always many trends, but this is my own view of the most important ones.
  • Increasing importance of visual storytelling in travel and tourism = photos, graphics & video
  • Huge photos, allowing scrolling either down or across. Links within the photos take you to more text-based information.
  • I am a writer, and I love words, but photos make an immediate connection with people (and there is no language barrier.) What follows is an example....
  • A description using words.
  • One photo says the same thing, more powerfully and more quickly, without a language barrier.
  • Facebook & blogs are not new, but the increased use of images on them is new. Flickr isn't new, but now it has a new app & just did a design overhaul. The last two are mobile apps. On Facebook, people Like photo updates twice as much as text updates ( link to Ragan data: Photos & video drive the most engagement
  • Here is how to incorporate more visuals into your content, but not by taking lots of additional photographs.
  • One photo, taken at a Thai restaurant in San Francisco (which I found on my phone using only Yelp and Foodspotting) becomes content in many places. If you want to start taking advantage of the visual trend, you must start thinking like an online publisher. You can re-use the same photo, but craft the content to fit each social media platform.
  • Photo was taken and then shared while still in the restaurant. Here it is as it was sent to Twitter.
  • Also while still in the restaurant, it was shared to Foodspotting. I could have also sent it to Instagram, Flickr and Facebook (personal profile AND business Pages.) There's also a beer app called Untappd, if I'd wanted to focus on the Tiger beer.
  • Later that week, I wrote a blog post as well, using the same photo. Any of your visitors could do any of this, and they do!
  • My top advice: learn how to be a better photographer (photo composition, camera settings, lighting) and learn how to shoot basic video.
  • Note from earlier ICTT speaker that smartphones are overtaking WAP even in India. We are carrying the web in our purses and pockets.
  • This photo went to my Facebook profile from my mobile phone, at a restaurant outside a small town in Kansas. The point is to emphasize the powerful combination of mobile, online publishing and social networks.
  • Mobile plus social networks. Source of data is hyperlinked at bottom of slide.
  • Your travel market is on mobile now, and usage will only increase. Source of data is hyperlinked at bottom of the slide.
  • Great resource for Google data and reports in the travel and tourism vertical – Google Think Insights.
  • I prefer that organizations worry a lot more first about mobile website and blog, rather than trying to create an app. When travelers use mobile devices to look for information on the go, they usually open a browser first. Your website had better be ready.
  • Stop thinking of digital and social media as a special department (especially do not think of it as something for only a young employee to handle!) You must integrate at least an understanding of social communications throughout your organization, or you will be caught flat-footed. Hierarchy and wire diagrams do not work in today's environment.
  • Social/online platforms are simply tools to tell the story of your destination, attraction, hotel or business. They are not stand-alone any more than a telephone or email are some sort of special tools that only certain people use. Liz Strauss uses the analogy of a pencil. Do you have a special Pencil Dept.? Integrate these tools with every other tool that you use to market, including your overall marketing strategy.
  • You MUST connect communications across your organization. Social and tech are not stand-alone pieces of the puzzle.
  • This may include the boss! Train up, down and across. These are very powerful tools and the whole organization must understand them.
  • Huge impact of Chinese outbound travel.
  • COTTM – China Outbound Travel & Tourism Market – major trade show every year in China about Chinese outbound travel and tourism. Is your destination represented there?
  • Chinese outbound travel resource: COTRI. Quoted sources are hyperlinked in the slide.
  • Note large increase in Chinese luxury travel – a resource on this topic is Affinity China.
  • COTTM, COTRI, become familiar with Chinese travel sites like Qunar, search engines like Baidu and Chinese social networks like Sina Weibo, Tencent and RenRen. Offline, consider language and cultural training for key employees.
  • Original photos on Flickr Creative Commons are hyperlinked in the slide.
  • Trends in Travel, Tourism and Technology 2013

    1. 1. @SheilaS@TourismCurrentsTourism TrendsSheila ScarboroughTourism Currents
    2. 2. @SheilaS@TourismCurrentsWhat Well Talk About● Visuals● Mobile● Integrating social● The worlds #1 touristsource market: China
    3. 3. @SheilaS@TourismCurrentsTrend #1Visuals
    4. 4. @SheilaS@TourismCurrentsVisuals in action:The Pure New Zealand website
    5. 5. @SheilaS@TourismCurrentsWordsvs.Photos
    6. 6. @SheilaS@TourismCurrentsWords:Boy balances onsurfboard, catches hisfirst wave in Hawaii#smshi
    7. 7. @SheilaS@TourismCurrents
    8. 8. @SheilaS@TourismCurrentsVisual Content Explosion● Facebook● Blogs (especially Tumblr)● Flickr● Pinterest● Instagram● Foodspotting
    9. 9. @SheilaS@TourismCurrentsVisual content:one photo usedmany ways
    10. 10. @SheilaS@TourismCurrents
    11. 11. @SheilaS@TourismCurrents
    12. 12. @SheilaS@TourismCurrents
    13. 13. @SheilaS@TourismCurrents
    14. 14. @SheilaS@TourismCurrentsDo not forgetvideo#2 search engineis …. YouTube
    15. 15. @SheilaS@TourismCurrentsYour next step to meetthis trend:Make your onlinecontent more visual(photos AND video)
    16. 16. @SheilaS@TourismCurrentsTrend #2Mobile
    17. 17. @SheilaS@TourismCurrents
    18. 18. @SheilaS@TourismCurrentsFacebook will haveapproximately 1.14 billionmonthly active mobile users by2014.486 million of those will onlyaccess the network from theirmobile device.Source: JP Morgan &
    19. 19. @SheilaS@TourismCurrents38% of leisure travelers usemobile to access travel info(up from 11% in 2010)57% of business travelers usemobile to access travel info(up from 40% in 2010)Source: Google Think Insights 2012
    20. 20. @SheilaS@TourismCurrents
    21. 21. @SheilaS@TourismCurrentsYour next step to meetthis trend:A mobile-friendlywebsite (& mindset)
    22. 22. @SheilaS@TourismCurrentsTrend #3Integration
    23. 23. @SheilaS@TourismCurrentsDo you have a"TelephoneDepartment?"Do you have a"Director of Email?"
    24. 24. @SheilaS@TourismCurrents
    25. 25. @SheilaS@TourismCurrentsYour next step to meetthis trend:Cross-train allemployees in socialcommunications
    26. 26. @SheilaS@TourismCurrentsTrend #4China
    27. 27. @SheilaS@TourismCurrents
    28. 28. @SheilaS@TourismCurrents"India is by some estimates the fastestgrowing travel destination forChinese travelers."Tnooz travel tech news site, February 2013"China’s expenditure on travel abroadreached US$102 billion in 2012, making itthe first tourism source market in theworld in terms of spending."UNWTO (U.N. World Tourism Organzation) April 2013
    29. 29. @SheilaS@TourismCurrents
    30. 30. @SheilaS@TourismCurrentsYour next step to meetthis trend:Prepare online & offlinefor Chinese visitors
    31. 31. @SheilaS@TourismCurrentsTakeaways● Show your story, dont tell it, withvisuals including video● Mobile: the web in customerspockets & purses● Integrate online & offline● Are you ready for China?
    32. 32. @SheilaS@TourismCurrentsPhoto Credits● Typewriter (courtesy etharooni Flickr CC)● Quartz Hill track New Zealand (courtesy PhillipCapper Flickr CC)● Boy surfing: Waikiki Beach Services● Puzzle pieces (courtesy Mike Haynie Flickr CC)● COTTM booth (courtesy COTTM)● Chinese shopper at Bergdorfs (courtesy Kris Krug &Affinity China Flickr CC)● All other photos & screenshots are my own
    33. 33. @SheilaS@TourismCurrentsThanks very muchSheila Scarborough@SheilaSTourism