The epidemic has seen an increase in digitization, especially in the areas of payments, but now what are the expectations from consumers? Nick Hall of the Digital Tourism Think Tank was one of these regions at a recent Skyscanner event that emphasized the need for digital solutions to customer pain points.
Hall said that since January of this year, the head of their organization, the company has made sense of the need to get help from a holistic “industry, policy and strategy” approach to digital development. “There is clearly a recognition that things have changed for businesses and consumers, and suddenly digital has become important. It’s about optimizing the granularity of pain points and obstructions and trying to overcome them. It’s an educational journey that is sometimes difficult to work with.”
Hall adds that people may be excited about blockchain, customer issues and the need to focus on where digital can play a role. He further believes that customers will expect a “digital service level” in growing destinations and those companies will lag behind if they don’t convert fast enough and lose competition. “Many in the industry are moving fast and consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable with it,” he argued.
Other panel members at the Skyscanner Horizons event were asked by Google to stay competitive in terms of development. Hugh Aitken, vice president of Skyscanner aviation, described Google as another channel, adding that the industry needs to evolve through direct relationships or personalization.
Skyscanner chief commercial officer Stuart Middleton added that the company is a good competitor to Google but the search giant is a “strong competitor and keeps us honest.” Speakers were asked what they would choose as a priority beyond continuity, cooperation and clarity. Most collaborators said you can’t have two without it, but Aitken argued for clarity.
“I think we have cooperated. I’ve never seen so much add to the industry. I saw the CEOs of four airlines standing on the runways of Heathrow last week, which is a strange thing to do anyway, which has never happened before. “We are cooperating in appealing to the government to make my point clear, we can only do it from what we know and if we do not have clarity about the staff, it is impossible to plan and think ahead.”
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