Yesterday Atrevia held an event on tourism in which representatives of different companies in the sector analyzed the change in consumer behavior, as well as new trends and opportunities in a booming market after a period of recovery. Under the title “Tourism 2023: the year of opportunities”, the participants in the event highlighted the good moment that the sector is going through.
Sustainability and environmental responsibility in hotels and cruise ships were two of the fundamental aspects highlighted by some of the guests. In the words of Edurne Vázquez, Chief Operating Officer of Hotelatelier, “as managers of companies, we must commit ourselves to building a social, environmental and economic conscience. It is an element of value for the client and for many travelers it is one more criterion in their search ”. Vázquez added that “the client also has to commit to making responsible consumption on their trips, since the achievement of environmental and social responsibility is for both parties; of the one who offers the service and of the one who consumes it”.
Regarding the application of technological innovation in the guest experience and internal processes, Alfredo Serrano, president of CLIA, highlighted that “innovation in the cruise sector has allowed us to access broader information about the consumer. Thank you to the implementation of smart bracelets, we can now personalize the customer experience and make it different and unique compared to the other 4,000 passengers on board.” Vázquez agreed that “at Hotelatelier we are seeing that the customer demands to experience something more authentic, seeking singularity in a close and very local way”.
Sonia Prieto, Chief Operating & Strategy Officer of Llanga Hospitality, highlighted the changes in the demand of the new traveler, commenting that “before, the main motivation was the destination, but now the experience has become more important. Undoubtedly the current trend is marked by wanting to experience things that make both the moment and the destination memorable.” On the need to provide authenticity and personalized experiences, Vázquez added that “at Petit Palace Hotels we are seeing the need to experience something more authentic, seeking uniqueness in a very natural and very local”.
Collaboration with other actors in the tourism sector was also highlighted in the debate. In the words of Alfredo Serrano, “we need authorities or public institutions that lead these alliances for the benefit not only of the companies, but also of the destination. The private sector is willing to collaborate, but that leadership does not take place”.
The second part of the day focused on the challenges and opportunities of transport in the tourism sector. All the participants agreed that, once the recovery is over, the consumer travels even more than before, as shown by the data both in terms of occupancy and demand levels. A clear trend is the customer’s search for tranquility. As stated by Roberto López, editor specializing in Transport for the newspaper LA RAZÓN, “price is a determining factor due to the current economic situation, but when you go to buy a plane or bus ticket, you are looking for peace of mind that the company can solve any problem that may arise.
Regarding the sustainable initiatives that are revolutionizing the industry and promoting responsible tourism, Elena Cabrera, Country Manager of Ryanair in Spain and Portugal, highlighted that from the airline “we have been able to verify that the general user asks for greater sustainability in the However, in the aviation sector, the consumer continues to make a decision based on price.” Ignacio Pérez-Carasa, director of institutional relations and CSR at Alsa, added that the company is betting on hydrogen: “It is already a reality. At the moment we have two hydrogen buses. However, due to the lack of infrastructure and supply capacity, we must not neglect other biofuels.”
The participants in this table also highlighted the importance of technology and innovation to improve the user experience and optimize processes. As Cabrera pointed out, “innovation makes the process of going through airports as less tedious as possible. We have implemented technology to be able to communicate with the client at the moment and provide them with the information as quickly as possible. We use AI to always position ourselves below market prices and we are constantly looking for hyper-personalization, quite a challenge considering the 400,000 user data we handle daily.”
The collaboration between the actors of the tourism sector was also highlighted as a key factor. In this sense, Roberto López affirmed that “intermodality is a matter that is discussed from all transport sectors. The comfort of the traveler must be sought, therefore, companies must collaborate to accompany the user even on the last journeys mile (from your home to the airport or station).”