Benchmark and industry trends


Travel Tech

Recently the Think Tank published two critical reports: the 2014 Executive Destinations Benchmark provides an evaluation of the websites of 21 National Tourism Organisations (NTOs), while the Industry Trends Research report takes an in-depth look at the impact of digital technologies on all tourism-related businesses.

2014 Executive Destinations Benchmark

The Think Tank applied a robust and rigorous methodology based on several key components of a website’s performance. These were web design / inspiration, social integration, content, mobile & tablet and search functionality. Having assessed each of the NTO website, the Think Tank then assessed which were the most successful, and named the best in class for each category.

Encouragingly, the report found that generally the performance of the 21 NTOs was pretty good in terms of producing engaging content. Norway, Slovakia and Denmark were particularly commended by the DTTT for the overall positive user experience that their websites deliver.

 NTOs Neglect Mobile

However, one area where NTOs could improve significantly is with regard to mobile and tablet access. The report found that NTOs are almost ubiquitously neglecting this area of their operations. This should be of concern given the growing importance of the mobile sector.

The impact of digital communication on the tourism industry in its daily work, and the importance of this particular niche cannot be underestimated. Mobile is an incredibly important platform for both research and e-commerce.

The value of mobile e-commerce transactions is expected to exceeded $3 trillion by 2017, and the number of mobile devices in developed economies already outnumbers people. Figures also indicate that mobile is an incredibly important resource for marketing and promotion. Nearly one in three travellers have located flight and hotel deals through mobile apps, while 85% of travellers utilise their smartphones during trips, and 50% post reviews of hotels outline via this technology.

With wearable tech also coming to the fore, travel-related companies such as Expedia and Virgin researching and implementing functionality related to devices such as the recently unveiled Apple Watch. Thus, NTOs efforts related to mobile need to be substantially stepped up.

Industry Trends Research - Rapid Mobile Growth

As a perpetual monitor of digital trends, the opinion of the DTTT with regard to digital technology carries considerable weight. This report argues robustly that digital technology is a “disruptive” influence on the tourist industry, and one that NTOs simply must embrace enthusiastically.

Mobile internet is already huge business, and growing rapidly; the number of mobile broadband subscriptions grows around 45% each year. By 2018, 85% of the world’s population will have at least 3G internet access. Mobile payment systems such as NFC and iBeacon are now becoming mainstream, and the latter also potentially offers marketing potential.

Vast Social Media Penetration

In Europe, social media penetration is massive. However, the percentage of young adults (18-29) utilising social media on a worldwide basis is particularly high. Also, travellers within the 25-34 age range are most likely to use social networks to acquire ideas and inspiration for travel plans.

The DTTT has recently published numerous articles which indicate that social media can play a key role in tourism marketing. A recent study published by DTTT’s partner TripAdvisor indicated that hotels who engage with customers via social media are around 25 percent more likely to attract custom. The Industry Trends Report paints a picture of social media being prevalently used by young, relatively affluent, mobile-friendly consumers, and this thus must be viewed as an extremely fruitful marketplace by NTOs.

Tablet Significance Growing

The report also outlines the importance of targeting tablet computing. Tablets are frequently adopted by consumers when engaging in e-commerce activities, particularly in the travel and hospitality sector. The Daily Telegraph recently  reported that tablet computing is the fastest growing form of consumer electronics in human history.

Consumers show high involvement across multiple mobile platforms and devices during all stages of travel. The DTTT concluded that it is of supreme importance for tourism businesses to provide fully mobile and tablet-compatible websites that support consumers efficiently at all key stages of the marketing process.

Augmented Reality

Finally, the report looks at the potential of augmented reality technology, which is already being utilised despite its infancy. Virgin was the first organisation in the travel sector to incorporate this technology across it branches, and the DTTT has already reported on the potential offered by forthcoming virtual reality headsets such as Project Morpheus and Occulus Rift.

As digital technology evolves and consumers engage with it, the necessity for travel-related businesses and destinations to embrace this technology  comes more sharply into focus. The two reports produced by the DTTT, not to mention the entirety of its work, makes this reality emphatically clear.

More from #DTTT

  • In April we present:
    Tourism Industry Weekly Impact Call: Week 4

    In Week 4, insights were shared from Visit Austurland, Visit Scotland, Visit Ljubljana and many more. The key focus now is about refocusing, supporting local businesses, being sensitive to people’s fears and implementing a gradual recovery plan, starting within the destination.

    #COVID-19 #collaboration #data #DMOs #industry #tourism
  • In April we present:
    Tourism Industry Weekly Impact Call: Week 3

    The #DTTT hosted its third travel industry impact call, featuring even more valuable contributions and industry-wide insights from around the world. We welcomed more new faces and perspectives, shared recovery plans and followed the progress of destinations as the industry works through the crisis. Every Tuesday at 14:00 GMT / 15:00 CET, we will hold a […]

    #COVID-19 #collaboration #data #DMOs #industry #tourism
  • In March we present:
    Tourism Industry Weekly Impact Call: Week 2

    The #DTTT were keen to welcome even more new faces and perspectives to our much anticipated second travel industry impact call. We hosted sixty-one industry participants, who joined us in sharing their views, situations, and experiences of how the ongoing COVID-19 crisis is impacting them.  Every Tuesday at 14:00 GMT / 15:00 CET, we will hold […]

    #COVID-19 #collaboration #data #DMOs #industry #tourism
  • In March we present:
    Tourism Industry Weekly Impact Call: Week 1

    At the #DTTT, we are bringing people together across the industry to help steer them through the crisis. In our podcast you will hear a range of industry perspectives, shared experiences and insights into the direct effects and impact of the crisis. Everyone has a different response and everyone is responding in different ways. The […]

    #COVID-19 #collaboration #data #DMOs #impact #industry
  • In March we present:
    International Women’s Day – Celebrating Women who are Transforming the Industry

    Women we know and admire At the #DTTT, we love to celebrate women who have done amazing things in the industry.  These are women that we know and respect. They have added immense value to the industry with their knowledge and contribution and we are especially excited to celebrate them on International Women’s Day. Dr […]

    #International Women's Day #Celebrate #Achievements #Game-Changers #Thought Leaders #industry
  • In March we present:
    #Coronavirus – How is the Industry reacting?

     ⚠️This will be updated daily at 2pm ⚠️ Update: 08/04/2020 The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has reported that 25 million jobs are at risk with the drop in demand for air travel amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Antwerp Tourism has created an e-shop, bringing the shops and restaurants in Antwerp to people at home. Disney World […]

    #Coronavirus #Perspective #DMOs #impact #industry #tourism
Show more
© 2017 Digital Tourism Think Tank

Digital Tourism Think Tank logo imge