Trends in the Travel and Tourism Industry, and How Translation Services Can Help
The travel and tourism industry has taken a big hit in the past 2 years, and those 2 years were enough to change the industry in so many ways. However, we can expect some positive changes more countries have seen significant progress in their battle against COVID. In November, The United States has lifted COVID-19 restrictions that kept many international travelers out of the country for more than a year. This is a positive signal for the travel and tourism industry, as long as we follow the safety standards and keep the pandemic in check while traveling.
For travel companies, airline companies, and hospitality businesses, this is a time of preparation. They haven’t fully recovered, but business is slowly picking up in the midst of the chaos, and it’s necessary to get ready for the days ahead. As soon as the pandemic is over, we can expect to see a sharp jump in travel demands. A lot will change, and a lot will stay the same.
So, what will be the trends in the travel and tourism industry in 2022, and at least a few years after that?
In this article, we will explore the changes that Covid-19 has brought to the travel and tourism industry, and see how LSPs can help tourism companies keep up with those trends. There are 8 trends that we see as most noticeable:
- Dealing with the financial burdens of the pandemic
- Heightened concern for health, safety, and hygiene
- Decrease in corporate travel
- “Workation” or “Bleisure” travel
- Local travels become more common
- Decreased human interaction and increased automation
- Increased Personalization
- Sustainable Tourism
1. Dealing with the financial burdens of the pandemic
The aviation industry is not going to financially recover from the pandemic anytime soon. The Covid-19 pandemic has dragged many airplane companies into long-term debt, so even if travel picks up, they still won’t be able to see a positive cash flow until air travel 100% recovers, which is by 2024.
In order to reduce the severity of the impact, McKinsey’s analysts suggest that companies in the industry take action as soon as possible. Specifically, they encourage deep restructuring of financial strategy, raising equity, and investing in projects that focus more on profitability for the company, instead of the industry.
2. Heightened concern for health, safety, and hygiene
This is an optimistic improvement in the industry. Currently, proof of vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test is the minimum requirement upon entry of international airports. For at least the next 6 months, we will be living in a COVID-conscious world. Restrictions can vary by country and region, but it’s certain that we still need a lot of health and safety control if we don’t want to see another outbreak.
Not only is health and safety control a must-have to reduce risks of spreading disease, but it’s also a way to improve customer experience.
The availability of hygiene products and services in the industry lessens travelers’ anxiety and boosts their travel confidence. In the near future, we can expect a new travel and tourism industry with more rigorous health and safety standards for both the clients and the workers.
3. Decrease in corporate travel
Covid-19 brought many companies online, and, fortunately, a lot of them saw increased productivity and satisfaction with this “digital migration”. Various studies on the WFH trend also showed that businesses can now connect with their employees through a hybrid environment (half-home, half-office).
This means that the demand for corporate travel will be reduced significantly since people can meet, talk, and discuss in the comforts of their house.
This is not a good sign for the hotel and lodging industry.
Corporate traveling accounts for more than 50% of the revenue. Without business travelers meeting, talking, discussing, engaging in sports entertainment, the industry is not generating enough profits. Corporate travel is not showing any sign of return and it is not even likely to reach the pre-Covid level, so companies from the hotel and lodging industry can expect to see a drop in their revenue and profits.
4. "Workation" or "Bleisure" Travel
“Workation” or “Bleisure” travel is a relatively new tourism trend, but it is growing really quickly, and this can be the future of corporate travel.
Many business trips actually go beyond being “business”. There are also a lot of leisure activities involved in the process. Leisure activities help build connections and establish a relationship between business partners and clients better. Incorporating recreational activities in the planning of the trip allows the travelers to prepare themselves for the experience better.
Sometimes these leisure activities can be spontaneous and unplanned. Business travelers can decide to take part in a leisure activity as a form of “exploration” after they have dealt with all of their professional engagements. There is also a rising trend of being “digital nomads” in the younger generation. Digital nomads are people who travel constantly while also performing the job remotely thanks to the help of digital technology. They also belong to the “workation” trend.
As a tourism service provider, you should cater to the demands of your travelers and incorporate recreational elements into their travel plans. For example, some hotels dedicate a quiet corner for people who want to work. Or, you can have a look at the Cayman Island’s Global Citizen Concierge Program that offers an opportunity to work and live in paradise for professionals.
5. Local Travel Becomes More Common
Local traveling is currently a more favored option. Also known as “staycation”, it is a form of holiday spent in the traveler’s home country, instead of an aborad country. The reasoning for this increase is obvious: international travel entails too many risks. It is ideal for those wanting to explore the regions surrounding their home without having to worry too much about contracting Covid. Another reason for the increase of local traveling is the little cost it takes. Covid-19 did have an impact on people’s savings, and they are less wary to spend much on leisure activities.
Overall, this will be a positive sign for small/local tourism businesses. By identifying this trend and adapting your strategies to match your customers’ demand, you will be able to capitalize on this growing trend. The trend is expected to last for a while until a sense of normalcy can be found in the industry, again, which is in probably 1 or 2 more years to come.
6. Decreased human interaction and increased automation
Automation has been a major trend in a lot of industries in recent years, not just tourism, but the Covid-19 pandemic did give it a push forward. A lot of repetitive tasks have been replaced by bots, machines, and digital processes to reduce costs and increase efficiency.
In the tourism industry, this means replacing face-to-face, or over-the-phone bookings and interactions with online bookings. Advertising was incorporated on online bookings sites, too, which helps travel companies be extra cost-effective while also boosting customer satisfaction with their service.
In the post-COVID era, we can see automation in the sector booming. Automation is currently being used to reduce human interaction and reduce the risk of infection that customers can get while traveling. It is convenient, so there’s no reason travel companies will not continue to use these digital solutions once the pandemic is over. These technologies have the potential to create a lot of job opportunities and accelerate the recovery rate of the sector in general.
7. Increased Personalization
Technology gives us the power to provide personalized services to our customers more easily. Back in the day, travelers are divided into different categories, and travel companies will develop different packages and plans for each of them. However, the power of modern technology allows us to analyze large amounts of data and make recommendations that tailor to the specific needs of every single traveler. These recommendations were made based on a lot of factors, such as Internet browsing history. This is the basis of many powerful digital marketing tools that we use today, such as Facebook Ads or Google Ads.
If you want to offer personalized services to your customer, you need to learn who they are. Know their basic information before diving into the details about the preferences, hobbies, behaviors, and tons of other individual needs that make them unique from other travelers. Building a good personalization strategy takes a lot of time and effort, but it is a worthy investmennt.
8. Sustainable Tourism
The Covid-19 pandemic showed us how fragile our world is. As the pandemic unfolds, more and more people become aware of the impacts that we have on our world, and how decreased traffic and human interaction have actually made the world a little bit cleaner. We need a solution to the environmental problems that we are facing. Not only are we doing it for ourselves, but also for many future generations.
Travelers who are environmentally conscious will take into consideration the impacts they have on the Earth.
Encouraging sustainability in travel and tourism involves incorporating activities that help the environment, or using items/resources that are biodegradable/renewable, or traveling to places that are unaffected by industrialization and modernization. The goal of sustainable tourism is to educate the visitors and travelers on the importance of being close to nature, allowing them to understand, respect, and preserve the beauty of life around them.
In the post-Covid period, this will definitely be a fast-growing area of the tourism industry. The value that this type of tourism brings is beyond what we can see.
How Can The Translation Industry Help The Tourism Industry Capitalize on These Trends?
The travel industry has inarguably been one of the most heavily affected industries in the pandemic. But as the world approaches a “new normal”, travel businesses will need to be flexible and try to capture all of the new opportunities that they can see.
As an industry that walks side-by-side with the tourism industry, the translation industry can provide a lot of solutions to help businesses in the tourism world overcome the initial challenges of the post-Covid world
The first challenge is to create a personalized experience for the user. Traveling itself is a personal experience, and they want to be treated as wonderfully as possible during the time that they set out to “enjoy”. If your customers are from other countries, you will need to personalize your content to match with the languages that their countries use. In other words, you need to adapt your tourism content (marketing content/websites/tour descriptions) to the languages of your customers to facilitate the highest level of understanding. You need to make them feel “at home”.
It can indeed be difficult. It’s not about translating the content and be done with it. It’s about translating the content while being aware of the cultural and linguistic nuances in it. Cultural personalization is not easy to achieve, but if done properly, it will boost your customer experience to an extremely high level and establish for your company an unrivaled competitive advantage.
User-Generated content is also a powerful part of marketing that many people ignore. Travelers want to read authentic reviews from their fellow travelers. The pandemic has forced people to rely too much on technology, so user-generated content can provide a source of “human” interaction to the users before they decide to use your products and services. If you want to adapt your user-generated content to the languages of your choice in the most “human” and “genuine” way possible, you should consult a language service provider. They will be able to provide you with the language solutions to better engage and captivate the interests of tourists and travelers.
What do you think about the upcoming trends in the travel and tourism industry? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
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