First, the good news: However you differentiate yourself as a travel or hospitality operator, leisure and business travel are rising, as documented by numerous associations and surveys. In other words, a rising tide lifts all boats.
But this time around, it will take more than high water level to stay afloat. To return to pre-crises levels of travel spending and combat emerging competitors, individual hotels, travel agents and airlines must provide a more social, mobile, informed and consistent travel experience.
Whether it's cutting operational costs, improving sourcing or increasing bookings among millennials, social, mobile, analytics and cloud technologies (aka the SMAC Stack) are at the heart of these efforts. (see, “Don't Get SMACked: How Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud Technologies are Reshaping the Enterprise”)
For instance, consumers now use mobile devices to not only research their options but also book travel. Although the PC is still the favored medium, the number of Americans booking travel via mobile will reportedly more than double to 38 million by 2016.