Inside Travel: Understanding the latest technology and industry trend insights

Find it hard to keep track with all the latest insights into business trends, new products and technology advancements in the travel sector? The Blue Swan Daily provides you with an update on some of the key stories from the past week.

  • Millennials are flocking to credit cards and most cardholders prefer simplicity
  • TripIt introduces update to popular neighbourhood safety scores offering enhanced traveller insights
  • Launch of ‘Travalyst’ threatens companies which do not become more environmentally minded
  • WTTC and Deloitte jointly launch initiative on future of work transformations in Travel & Tourism
  • TripAdvisor releases data detailing fake review volumes – more than 1 million or 2.1% deemed fake
  • Tech start-up aims to eliminate employee well-being and productivity
  • VLeisure launches new credit service aims to empower travel agents through greater financial control

Millennials are flocking to credit cards and most cardholders prefer simplicity

Millennials are significantly more likely than older adults to have shopped for a new credit card in the past year, according to a new CreditCards.com report . Some 44% of 23-38 year-olds have done so, compared with 26% of those who are older. Regardless of age, most cardholders (72%) prefer a simple credit card strategy. They want to use the same card or two as often as possible rather than mixing several different cards to maximise benefits. Those who prefer maximising benefits over simplicity include 35% of millennials, 32% of Gen Xers and just 24% of Boomers. Those with higher incomes are more interested in juggling multiple cards. Rewards cardholders are doing the best job maximising gas rewards (50% are earning extra rewards beyond their card’s baseline), followed by groceries (48%), travel (45%), restaurants (44%) and online shopping (34%). That leaves 17% who aren’t earning extra rewards in any of these categories. Travel rewards appeal to some demographics more than others: 49% of men who have rewards credit cards earn extra travel points, compared with 42% of women and 51% of millennials versus 43% of Boomers and Gen Xers.


TripIt introduces update to popular neighbourhood safety scores offering enhanced traveller insights

Neighbourhood safety scores are available on the Android and iOS mobile apps for all TripIt users and now include enhanced rankings. TripIt Pro makes international travel easier by showing logistics such as embassy information, currency conversions, socket and plug requirements, required vaccinations, tipping advice and more for 180 countries. It shows safety scores from 1 to 100 for neighbourhoods around the world, representing low to high risk. These scores cover a variety of categories, including a new LGBTQ category (including likelihood of harm or discrimination against LGBTQ persons or groups and level of caution required at location). Other categories comprise physical harm (including muggings, drug activity, gang prevalence, and police presence), women’s safety (including verbal harassment, physical assault, violence directed against women, and adequacy of women’s support facilities), health and medical (including environmental pollution and contamination, illnesses, regulation of sanitary conditions, and access to medical care), political freedoms (including political unrest, limited political rights, and incidences of riots and protests) and theft (including petty theft, pickpocketing, burglaries, auto theft, and grand theft). TripIt also now shows a separate day and night safety rating for the neighbourhoods demonstrating how time of day impacts a traveller’s safety.


Launch of ‘Travalyst’ threatens companies which do not become more environmentally minded

Tourism related partners that do not get involved with ‘Travalyst’, or become more sustainability-focused, face losing credibility and missing out on future gains, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company. Formed by the Duke of Sussex alongside companies Ctrip, Skyscanner, Booking.com, and TripAdvisor, the adventurous global initiative seeks to ‘change the impact of travel, for good’. The initiative has been launched at a time where environmental activists are forever in the limelight causing continuous protest such as the ‘Flygskam’ throughout Europe or the international movement of ‘Extinction Rebellion’. GlobalData’s consumer survey Q4 (2018) discovered that eco-tourism holidays are one of the least common holiday types across all generations. Despite this, environmental concerns are becoming ever more publicised and it is increasingly likely the number of travellers influenced by environmental standards will continue to rise.


WTTC and Deloitte jointly launch initiative on future of work transformations in Travel & Tourism

To ensure a successful transformation in the digital revolution, WTTC and Deloitte have announced a collaboration to support the Travel & Tourism sector in addressing the anticipated work and workforce shifts in the sector and associated public policy impacts. The Future of Work in Travel & Tourism report will bring together industry expertise to identify sector best practices and public policy recommendations, to help Travel & Tourism businesses navigate future of work challenges over the next decade and beyond. The publication will provide insights for businesses taking on these challenges, including relevant and actionable recommendations that will support a reimagination of work and workforce across the Travel & Tourism sector. WTTC and Deloitte will begin the groundwork immediately with plans to unveil the report in Apr-2020 at the WTTC Global Summit in San Juan, Puerto Rico.


TripAdvisor releases data detailing fake review volumes – more than 1 million or 2.1% deemed fake

TripAdvisor has published its first-ever Review Transparency Report, revealing never-before-shared details about its review moderation processes, as well as statistical data on the volume of fake review attempts targeted at the platform in 2018. The report, which analysed a full year’s worth of data on reviews submitted by the global travel community, reveals 66 million reviews were submitted to TripAdvisor in 2018 by the global travel community. Everyone was analysed using advanced fraud detection technology, and 2.7 million were subject to additional human assessment by content moderators. It says 4.7% of all review submissions were rejected or removed by either TripAdvisor’s advanced analysis technology or manually by the content moderation team. With 2.1% determined to be fraudulent, and the vast majority of those (73%) blocked before they were ever posted. This equated to over 1 million fake reviews that were prevented from being displayed on TripAdvisor.


Tech start-up aims to eliminate employee well-being and productivity

TourRadar, an online travel agency for multi-day tours, has made helping employees avoid workplace burnout a company-wide priority by making it easier than ever for them to fuel their passion: travel. As of 2019, TourRadar employees are given annual travel credits of up to USD1,800 to go touring, allowing them to save their paychecks while taking one of the 40,000 different adventures offered on TourRadar around the world. “Some companies may discourage their employees from traveling all the time but at TourRadar, we encourage it,” says Christian Wolters, managing director of North America at TourRadar. “Our employees are passionate about meaningful travel, so we provide them with travel credits to encourage them to open up, try new things and experience different cultures through touring just like our customers do.”


VLeisure launches new credit service aims to empower travel agents through greater financial control

VLeisure the B2B travel marketplace connecting travel agents with inventory has announced a new credit service that will empower travel buyers. With its credit offering, agencies will be able to buy products from VLeisure’s portfolio of hotels, airline tickets and travel insurance through VLeisure’s latest payment system. Credit members will have access to a Virtual Card which provides immediate credit to buy products and services from the VLeisure global marketplace. Funds are managed using E Wallet, with a choice of flexible repayment options.

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