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Rebooting Travel (April 2011)
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Rebooting Travel (April 2011)


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In our latest trend report, we take a look at travel, focusing on how mobile devices, real-time connectivity, social networking and the growing expectation of instant gratification are reshaping the …

In our latest trend report, we take a look at travel, focusing on how mobile devices, real-time connectivity, social networking and the growing expectation of instant gratification are reshaping the travel experience.

For this report, we interviewed travel experts and influencers and conducted quantitative surveys in the U.S. and the U.K. using SONAR™, JWT’s proprietary online tool.

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  • 2. WHAT WE‟LL COVERBackground and MethodologyRebooting Travel • Travel‟s Tiny Essential • The New Travel Currency • Unplugged Holidays • Book NOW! The Urgency Economy and TravelThings to Watch • Marketing Work/Life Balance • The New Chinese and Brazilian Tourist • Culinary Calling Cards • Gay-Centric Hotels • Odyssey TrackersAppendix • Learn More about Our Experts and Influencers REBOOTING TRAVEL
  • 3. METHODOLOGYJWT‟s Rebooting Travel is the result of quantitative, qualitative and desk researchconducted by JWTIntelligence throughout the year.Specifically for this report, we conducted quantitative surveys in the U.S. and theU.K. using SONAR™, JWT‟s proprietary online tool, surveying 1,024 adults aged 18-plus (590 Americans and 434 Britons) from March 4-15, 2011; data are weighted byage and gender.We also interviewed experts and influencers from the sector. REBOOTING TRAVEL
  • 5. TRENDNo more toting guidebooks and folding maps—the smartphone is replacing them, withits location-based services and guides, mobile mapping technologies and manyavailable travel apps. It‟s a one-stop shop that connects travelers with theirsurroundings, each other and travel brands better than any traditional travel guideever could.This ultimate traveler‟s companion is changing the travel landscape, putting a worldof information about our surroundings within easy reach and offering a much morepersonalized experience. Today‟s travelers can hit the ground running, then plan onthe go without missing a beat. TRAVEL’S TINY ESSENTIAL
  • 6. DRIVERS• Mobile as the Everything Hub• Expectation of instant gratification• Hyper-Personalization• Worlds Colliding TRAVEL’S TINY ESSENTIAL
  • 7. DRIVERS (cont‟d.)• Mobile as the Everything Hub• Expectation of instant gratification• Hyper-Personalization• Worlds Colliding TRAVEL’S TINY ESSENTIAL
  • 8. MANIFESTATIONS: THE RISE OF THE DIGITAL GUIDE “The publishing world has been talking for years about how we are going to follow the music industry down the pan. I don‟t think that is going to happen tremendously quickly for publishing in general, but travel guidebooks are absolutely the front line. In travel it makes much more sense to have digital rather than traditional paper books.” — MARK ELLINGHAM, founder of the Rough Guides series, “The end of the guidebook?” Financial Times, August 6, 2010Image credits:; TRAVEL’S TINY ESSENTIAL
  • 10. MANIFESTATIONS: THE SOCIAL GRAPH AS INFO HUB/RECOMMENDATION ENGINE “If you try to pick a restaurant based on Yelp reviews, it‟s like walking up to a random group of strangers and asking them where you should eat. And while the reviews are helpful and you may learn something, you don‟t, know those people, you don‟t know what they like. … With access to the social graph, there‟s now the opportunity for individuals to leverage their friends to get information. I think social media and the social graph are the big things that we do a little with today but will do a lot with in the future, and I think that‟s the way recommendations will start to work in the future.” —MARK WATKINS, CEO and co-founder of Goby, a personalized location-based activity search engineImage credits:; TripAdvisor YouTube Channel TRAVEL’S TINY ESSENTIAL
  • 11. MANIFESTATIONS: MOBILE MANUFACTURERS GETTING IN ON THE ACTIONAs mobile, local, travel and search continue to overlap and integrate, watch formobile manufacturers to find innovative ways into the travel market.The BlackBerry Travel app, launched in February, allows BlackBerry owners to bookhotels and flights, manage their travel itinerary, find local things to do through Yelpand receive notifications of itinerary changes; it also taps into LinkedIn, letting userscompare itineraries.Starting in June, Samsung phones will include a social travel service, Tripper, thatwill help users find nearby points of interest, create itineraries, and add (and share)photos, ratings and reviews.Apple‟s rumored iTravel app is said to be focused on suggesting apps for users basedon location (e.g., a ticket finder app for someone in a theater district). TRAVEL’S TINY ESSENTIAL
  • 12. SIGNIFICANCE/RELEVANCEMeet a new breed of traveler: the Foreign Local. Armed with mobile resources, thesetravelers are clued in to the inner workings of a place (down to the bartender‟sname), able to instantly familiarize themselves with their surroundings at the touchof a button. And as more people come to rely on their mobile devices for on-the-goplanning, plugged-in travelers will rarely feel out of place, confused or lost.At the same time, as the digital realm becomes more personalized, travelers willcome to expect uniquely tailored rather than generalized information from the travelbrands they interact with. TRAVEL’S TINY ESSENTIAL
  • 13. POTENTIALMobile devices are disrupting many corners of the travel industry—from guidebookpublishing to human tour guides—as they become a one-stop shop for all thingstravel. With travelers engaging these devices for trip planning, ticket purchasing,navigation and more, brands have many new touchpoints. For instance, how canthe flight and hotel check-in process be made more social or game-like, leveragingthe popularity of location-based services such as Foursquare?With the mobile travel market still taking shape, there are many opportunities,especially as travelers come to rely more heavily on mobile services and as geo-location apps start to drive behavior rather than simply reward decisions alreadymade. Travel companies can create dialogues with travelers throughout their tripsor selectively during the most relevant moments.With the vast amount of travel information and recommendations out there, brandscan take a proactive role in the consumer‟s decision-making process—helping todirect informed choices rather than simply adding to the content overload. TRAVEL’S TINY ESSENTIAL
  • 15. TRENDTravel has always garnered some level of social currency. But where travelers of oldshared (and bragged about) their activities upon returning home, today‟s hyper-connected and mobile-enabled vacationers are doing so in real time. Postingphotos, video and text updates amplifies the travel experience, affording anopportunity to broadcast far and wide how cool, privileged, worldly, etc. thetraveler is. “This concept isn‟t new, but it has been intensified, especially with the advent of social media. The idea of „keeping up with the Joneses‟ began in the late ‟90s when people started choosing more sustainable holidays. When more mainstream travel agencies started to market more experiential holidays, it was accepted by early adopters,which began the „one-up‟ concept. Social media has certainly made it easier and more accessible.” —BRUCE POON TIP, Bruce Poon Tip, founder and CEO of Gap Adventures, a group travel company THE NEW TRAVEL CURRENCY
  • 16. DRIVERS• Life in real time• Social living• Social one-upmanship THE NEW TRAVEL CURRENCY
  • 17. MANIFESTATIONS: FOURSQUARE BADGES Real-time communications have only heightened the bragging rights associated with attendance at mass cultural or sporting events as people comment and follow along on social media. Foursquare badges awarded for attendance at such events can therefore boost the user‟s social currency.Image credits:; THE NEW TRAVEL CURRENCY
  • 19. SIGNIFICANCE/RELEVANCEWhile relaying the experience to others has always been part of travel‟s appeal,social media now affords travelers the instant gratification of sharing every highlighton the spot with a broader audience, amplifying the social currency connected withtravel. Key brands with which travelers interact are being organically spreadthroughout social networks. THE NEW TRAVEL CURRENCY
  • 20. POTENTIALWith travelers posting photos, videos, status updates and the like, there‟stremendous opportunity for brands to facilitate online boasting, as AmericanExpress is doing with “Social Currency.”Contextual advertising on social networks can also boost brands, with manyconsumers motivated to “get in on the action” after reading about friends‟activities. Brand‟s can also create incentives for name dropping in photo tags,check-ins and the like through programs like Facebook‟s Sponsored Stories—aprogram that rewards users for brand interactions with greater user visibility onthe social network.Brands that create unique, transient experiences that attendees will want to bragabout can also drive social media word-of-mouth. Or more simply, marketers canmake direct connections between the experience they offer and its cachet onsocial media. THE NEW TRAVEL CURRENCY
  • 22. TREND In an extension of De-Teching, one of our 10 Trends for 2011, vacationers are increasingly seeking refuge from technology: choosing to log off in an effort to reconnect with loved ones, fully recharge and savor real-world experiences. While many travelers feel empowered and comforted by having their mobile devices on hand, they‟re also feeling weighed down by nonstop reminders of obligations waiting back home. With relaxation hampered by constant connectivity, vacationers are coming to regard De-Teching as the only way to truly get away from it all.Slide 21 Image Credit: chuck_heston UNPLUGGED HOLIDAYS
  • 23. DRIVERS• Desire to savor the now• Desire to revive relationships• Life in real time• Blurring of work and personal time• Growing awareness of digital‟s downside• Far-reaching digital coverage UNPLUGGED HOLIDAYS
  • 24. DRIVERS (cont‟d.) Digital communications have profoundly shifted relationships, distracting people from focusing• Desire to savor the now on loved ones. Constant connectivity has led many to allow digital relationships to eclipse real ones. As a result, vacationers are putting• Desire to revive increased focus on reconnecting with loved relationships ones and strengthening those relationships.• Life in real time Our survey found that 79% of U.S. and 68% of British respondents use their vacations as a way• Blurring of work and to rekindle personal relationships. Interestingly, personal time the hyper-connected Millennials in the U.K outpaced their elders, with 78% in agreement• Growing awareness of digital‟s downside With the fast-moving pace of the online world, our digital lives have become a never-ending• Far-reaching digital struggle to keep up. Did you see my e-mail? My coverage status update? That YouTube clip? Digital media‟s immediacy gives our social and recreational time a “get „er done” quality once reserved for work. People are coming to see vacations as a chance to leave this digital baggage at home. UNPLUGGED HOLIDAYS
  • 25. DRIVERS (cont‟d.)• Desire to savor the now “When I returned to civilization—and a phone— [after De-Teching on vacation] I had over 50• Desire to revive messages. But here‟s what I found most relationships interesting: the first half of the messages all• Life in real time raised problems that needed to be resolved, and the second half were the same people telling• Blurring of work and me not to worry about the first half because personal time they had resolved the problems on their own. It• Growing awareness of turns out that unplugging created an digital‟s downside opportunity for my team to grow, develop, and exercise their own judgment .”• Far-reaching digital —PETER BREGMAN, CEO of management consulting firm coverage Bregman Partners, “The Mostly Unplugged Vacation,” Harvard Business Review Blog, March 18, 2010 UNPLUGGED HOLIDAYS
  • 26. DRIVERS (cont‟d.)• Desire to savor the now• Desire to revive More and more research suggests that when relationships people busy their minds with digital input, they give up the downtime they need to• Life in real time process information, come up with new ideas and simply relax. By severing digital ties• Blurring of work and while on vacation, people can more fully reap personal time the mental health benefits of time off.• Growing awareness of With people Tweeting from Mount Everest and digital‟s downside mid-flight, it seems impossible to escape connectivity. As a result, vacationers are• Far-reaching digital forced to practice self-restraint or seek out coverage tech-disabled locales if they want a break. UNPLUGGED HOLIDAYS
  • 27. MANIFESTATIONS: LOW-TECH VACATION ZONES “I really wanted to bring back the concept of having a true getaway. You can have a much more fulfilling experience with the people you‟re with if you don‟t have those distractions. … We had rooms wired for telephones, but people said, „Do you really need to put them in?‟ Now we will never install them!” —MAURICE BONHAM CARTER, president and CEO of Island Destinations and co-owner of Arawak Beach Inn, “10 Unplugged Vacations,”, June 2008Image Credit: Satemkemet UNPLUGGED HOLIDAYS
  • 28. MANIFESTATIONS: MOBILE-FREE ZONES Though cell phone etiquette in public spaces is still being hammered out, some commuter train lines designate “quiet” cars where technology use is banned and U.K.-based train operator c2c has even installed a signal-blocking film on windows to ensure riders a bit of peace and tranquilityImage Credit: ChazWags UNPLUGGED HOLIDAYS
  • 29. MANIFESTATIONS: MARKETERS TAP INTO THE TRENDImage credits: Ads of the World Copa Airlines; Ads of the World Melchers Travel Agency; FloridaKeysTV YouTube Channel UNPLUGGED HOLIDAYS
  • 30. SIGNIFICANCE/RELEVANCEConsumers are tech-fatigued, stressed out and over-stimulated, and mobile devicesensure that some of that stress follows them on vacation. Travel and tourism brandsthat facilitate De-Teching holidays offer opportunities to reconnect with loved onesand more fully savor the moment.With a growing segment of vacationers less interested in whether resorts are “wired”and equipped with the latest technology, brands can profit by offering isolation—apeaceful, quiet and distraction-free bubble in which travelers can recharge.With the pull of digital connections strongly felt, however, there is also some guiltand fear about unplugging. More than a third of respondents expressed fears of“missing something” if they found themselves unable to check their mobile phone, e-mail or social networking site regularly while on vacation; this fear is mostpronounced among Millennials, with 60% of American and 54% of British Millennialsagreeing. Over one-third of overall respondents also feel guilty not answeringmessages (business or personal) while away. UNPLUGGED HOLIDAYS
  • 32. POTENTIALWhile addicted to constant connectivity and fearful of missing out on somethingimportant if they unplug, people also yearn for a break from the bombardment. Asexperts in relaxation, travel brands can give consumers permission to De-Tech andhelp assure them that it‟s a healthy choice that‟s only enhancing their holiday.Since a fully unplugged vacation may not be an option for all, brands can helpvacationers dip into their digital lives as necessary.Restaurants, hotels and entertainment venues can consider limiting Wi-Fi anddigital device use in order to cultivate a warmer, less distracting experience.Hospitality venues can also help to facilitate the low-tech travel experience,whether through planned activities or streamlining arrangements so that travelershave less real need for their devices. UNPLUGGED HOLIDAYS
  • 34. URGENCY ECONOMY: TRAVEL Travel is one of many categories affected by today‟s Urgency Economy (one of our 10 Trends for 2011). As time-sensitive deals experience a renaissance among younger, hipper and more “in the know” consumers, we‟re seeing the “act now” strategy adapted to the booking and travel-planning process. Sites like TripAdvisor‟s SniqueAway—which sometimes requires a decision within 24 hours—are helping to nudge travelers back to their pre- recessionary, “spend-now-think- later” ways.Image credits: BOOK NOW! THE URGENCY ECONOMY & TRAVEL
  • 37. THINGS TO WATCH: MARKETING THE WORK/LIFE BALANCE Even as people work longer hours in today‟s demanding economy, they‟re more aware than ever of the link between stress and health—something a range of travel brands are tapping into. Watch for more marketers to target consumers anxious over achieving a work/life balance.Image credit: RoyalCaribbeanIntl YouTube Channel; No Leave No Life THINGS TO WATCH IN TRAVEL
  • 38. THINGS TO WATCH: THE NEW CHINESE AND BRAZILIAN TOURIST The booming economies of China and Brazil are changing the face of international tourism. Outbound tourism expenditure from Brazil skyrocketed by 52% last year; from China it was up by 17%, according to the UN World Tourism Organization. Compare that with traditional markets such as Australia, France and the U.S., where outbound expenditure grew by 9%, 4% and 2%, respectively. About three in 10 travel industry executives cite in- and outbound travel from emerging markets as the “as the single biggest opportunity for the travel industry…over the next five years,” according to the World Travel Market 2010 Industry Report.Image credit: feserc THINGS TO WATCH IN TRAVEL
  • 39. THINGS TO WATCH: CULINARY CALLING CARDS Several high-profile names will be producing projects worth watching: Filmmaker Guillermo del Toro has launched a transmedia enterprise, Mirada, billed as “a storytelling engine in the form of a company”; Ron Howard‟s adaptation of the Stephen King book series The Dark Tower will involve three films (the first is due in 2013), with TV series between each to continue the story; and an Inception video game is being developed by Christopher Nolan, which the director has described as an opportunity to incorporate “all kinds of ideas that you can‟t fit into a feature film.” While transmedia entertainment is a natural fit for the sci-fi, fantasy or horror genres, watch for it to expand to other genres.Image credit: citymama THINGS TO WATCH IN TRAVEL
  • 40. THINGS TO WATCH: GAY-CENTRIC HOTELS Lords, a gay-focused Miami hotel that opened in late 2010, is looking to open in New York and L.A. Fort Lauderdale‟s Royal Palms Resort & Spa has expanded from 12 rooms to 62 to accommodate more of its male clientele. And with The Out NYC “urban resort”—which will include an Axel Hotel, restaurant, stores and a club—in the works in Manhattan, watch for more projects inspired by Spain-based Axel.Image credit: THINGS TO WATCH IN TRAVEL
  • 41. THINGS TO WATCH: ODYSSEY TRACKERS With tools that combine social media and GPS tracking, extreme adventurers are broadcasting their adventures in real time to a global audience. Geospatial company Esri creates custom Web trackers such as Live on Everest, which followed teenager Jordan Romero‟s 2010 ascent. And the app EpicTracker offers a “customizable map that geo-locates all of your social media posts including blogs, podcasts, photos, videos, Tweets and Facebook status updates—then posts them on your map in real time.”Image credit: fPat THINGS TO WATCH IN TRAVEL
  • 42. APPENDIX
  • 47. THANK YOUAnn M. Mack Jessica VaughnDirector of Trendspotting Trends StrategistJWT Worldwide @jess_vaughn WWW.JWT.COM | WWW.JWTINTELLIGENCE.COM | WWW.ANXIETYINDEX.COM © 2011 J. Walter Thompson Company. All Rights Reserved.