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.

  • The global economic impact of exhibitions – sector ranks as the 56th largest economy in the world
  • Priceline protects customers with newly expanded HackerOne Bug Bounty Programme
  • Trip.com launches TripPLUS members rewards programme
  • Journese launches ‘Cancel for Any Reason’ protection plan
  • Wowcher rolls out integrated flight pricing technology for travel deals
  • AND FINALLY… it appears 20 is the age parents should cut the pure strings on travel costs

The global economic impact of exhibitions – sector ranks as the 56th largest economy in the world

For the first time, the total global economic impact of exhibitions has been calculated with UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, working with Oxford Economics and supported by SISO (Society of Independent Show Organisers to produce the ‘Global Economic Impact of Exhibitions’ report and put an economic value on the industry. With a total output of EUR275 (USD325) billion in business sales annually, the exhibition sector is on a par with sectors such as machine tools or medical and surgical equipment. “This truly is a first for our industry,” says UFI President Craig Newman. “This new data will support us when we talk to stakeholders about our industry, especially as it’s broken down into the direct, measurable economic impact per exhibiting company – right down to the economic value of every single square metre of venue exhibition space.” Based on UFI exhibition metrics, the model developed by Oxford Economics provides results for the world and also regional data for Africa, the Asia-Pacific, Central and South America, Europe, the Middle East and North America. The report shows the far-reaching impact of the exhibition sector, which generates EUR68.7 billion in direct GDP. This ranks the sector as the 56th largest economy in the world, larger than those of countries such as Hungary, Kuwait, Sri Lanka, and Ecuador. In 2018, approximately 32,000 exhibitions directly involved 303 million visitors and over 4.5 million exhibitors across more than 180 countries. The total impact of EUR167 billion in global GDP includes the direct spending and jobs that are specifically involved in planning and producing exhibitions, and for participants and exhibitors to travel to exhibitions, as well as other exhibition-related spending. Europe was the largest market in terms of visitors, welcoming 112 million in 2018. This represents 37% of global exhibition visitors in 2018. North America ranked second, with 91 million visitors, followed by the Asia-Pacific with nearly 82 million visitors, highlights the report. In terms of total GDP, North America ranked first with over EUR78.2 billion of total GDP attributable to the exhibitions sector. This accounts for nearly 47% of the sector’s global impact. Europe followed with EUR48.6 billion of total GDP, representing 29% of the sector’s global impact. Overall, exhibitions globally generated EUR60,700 (of total sales per exhibiting company and EUR7,900 of total sales per square metre of venue gross indoor exhibition space.


Priceline protects customers with newly expanded HackerOne Bug Bounty Programme

Priceline.com, a world leader in online travel deals, has announced the expansion of its public bug bounty programme with HackerOne, the global leader in hacker-powered security. After operating this programme on an exclusive invitation-only basis, its success has prompted the travel leader to expand and publicise it, as well as to boost its incentives. Priceline joins organisations including the US Department of Defense, Google, Hyatt, Starbucks, Shopify, and others who partner with HackerOne to maintain its cybersecurity. Through the bug bounty programme, some of the world’s best and aspiring hackers are invited to identify and report potential security weaknesses on platforms. Priceline says this has enhanced its comprehensive cybersecurity strategy by identifying “potential security weaknesses on its e-commerce site”. For qualifying security vulnerabilities, Priceline has been offering monetary awards to thank hackers for their contributions to its security. As of 2019, Priceline raised the amount of those rewards.


Trip.com launches TripPLUS members rewards programme

Trip.com, the international brand of online travel agent Ctrip Group, has launched a new rewards program entitled ‘TripPLUS’. Its members will now be able to accumulate loyalty points known as ‘Trip Coins’ whenever they book flights and hotels or write a review on Trip.com platforms. Accumulated Trip Coins can be used to gain exclusive discounts on future purchases. Under the rewards programme, members will earn 25 Trip Coins for every USD100 they spend on flight bookings, 80 Trip Coins for every USD100 spent on hotel bookings, and up to 120 Trip Coins for every hotel review they post. TripPLUS works in tandem with Trip.com’s tier membership system, which includes Silver, Gold and Platinum membership. Members of all three tiers are entitled to exclusive hotel deals and other benefits.


Journese launches ‘Cancel for Any Reason’ protection plan

Journese has announced the launch of its new ‘Cancel for Any Reason’ trip protection plan coverage, offering travellers two plan options: one for cash back and one providing travel credit vouchers. Both plans feature 100% commission protection for travel advisers and a simplified cancellation process. Features of the protection coverage include cancellations for any reason and no claim forms for cancellations prior to travel with every booking automatically receiving benefits when cancelled in full prior to travel. Travel advisers also enjoy 100% commission protection with the purchase of any trip protection plan option. In addition, travellers enjoy pre-travel benefits such as price protection and change coverage, with the plan covering a one-time change or cancellation. Travellers also receive numerous post-departure benefits, including trip interruption coverage, a pre-existing medical condition exclusion waiver, baggage delay coverage, trip delay coverage, one-call 24-hour worldwide travel assistance services, and more.


Wowcher rolls out integrated flight pricing technology for travel deals

Deals site, Wowcher, has announced a roll out of integrated flight pricing and booking technology, allowing customers to select flight times and dates suitable to them within the Wowcher site. The flight integration signals Wowcher’s commitment to “providing hassle-free, end-to-end booking experiences,” it says. Now, in addition to having the added flexibility of selecting flight dates and times on the Wowcher site, customers can also enter their passport details at checkout. Founded in 2011, the company has over 20 million subscribers and believes this new feature will allow more travel businesses to utilise the large subscriber base as it can now accommodate those that don’t have the capacity to accept calls for customers to redeem.


AND FINALLY… it appears 20 is the age parents should cut the pure strings on travel costs

One of the biggest financial roadblocks on the way to retirement may be your adult children, according to a new Bankrate.com report. In fact, half of American parents with adult children say supporting their grown kids has been detrimental to their retirement savings, and more than one in six (17%) says it has had a significant impact. The Bank of Mom and Dad firmly feels the pinch. From paying car insurance and student loans to credit card bills, parents could still be giving money to their children for plenty of expenses. In general, 19-23 years old are the most common ages for a parent-funded lifestyle to be expected to end. Shockingly, Millennials (ages 23-38) believe the cut-off age should be delayed in many cases while Baby Boomers (ages 55-73) believe the earlier the better. For travel, Millennials believe that cut off should be at 21, while baby boomers suggest 20 is the right age.