There was a time when travelers had to rely solely on professional travel planning services to book ventures and ensure all details were properly in place. However, everything has changed with the growth of the internet and various technologies. In particular, Airbnb and other companies have revolutionized the industry and made it easier for travelers to find exactly what they’re looking for.
Technology is Changing the Way We Book Trips
When was the last time you picked up the phone and called a travel agent to see what the best deals on flights and hotel accommodations were? Unless you’re someone who resists adaptation, those days are probably long gone. Everything’s now done with the click of a mouse – or really the touch of a screen. From checking airline rates to Paris to booking somebody’s studio apartment for a one-night stay in New York City, there’s nothing you can’t do with the power of the internet.
And while there are a number of tools and resources driving this fundamental change in the vacation rental industry, there are ultimately a handful of very influential companies leading the charge.
- Airbnb. According to Airbnb, gone are the days when expensive hotel stays were the only option. This former startup – it’s now valued at around $13 billion – has revolutionized travel and ultimately launched an entirely new industry. It’s shown that people prefer personalized detail and crave the luxuries of ‘home,’ as opposed to commercialized rooms. In fact, the entire marketing strategy of Airbnb is ‘home.’
- VaycayHero. While fulfilling a different consumer need from Airbnb, VaycayHero is also changing the way travelers book vacation rentals. VaycayHero allows users to sort through exclusive vacation homes in top destinations. You simply input your various requests – including city, dates, then filter by amenities – and it provides accurate and verified listings. Know where you want to go, but not sure what type of vacation rental you are looking for? VaycayHero also offers a full-service concierge team to help you book. This is the kind of thing you needed an entire team of travel agents to handle 10 years ago or had to find and search multiple websites to compare just a few years ago. VaycayHero enables hotel-like booking all in one place.
- Google Travel. Is there anything Google doesn’t have their hands on? With Google Travel, you can easily search flight information, local accommodations, and plan your itinerary with the power of the world’s number one search engine.
The Influence of Mobile Connectivity and Social Media
In addition to these three companies leading the charge, social media and mobile connectivity are playing major roles in how trips are planned and booked. For example, nearly every major travel company has a mobile app that allows users to sort through flights, hotel accommodations, and destination information in a matter of seconds. This has led to more informed travelers, more accurate pricing models, and incredible flexibility.
According to recent research, more than 74 million people use mobile devices to find travel information each month, while 52 percent of all travel content is accessed via a tablet or smartphone. Furthermore, 30 percent of Orbitz and Travelocity customers use mobile apps to search and secure deals.
How Things are Changing
Ultimately, these companies and technologies are driving major changes in the travel industry. With so much capability in the user’s hands, it’s no longer necessary to be wired to a desktop computer or rely on a travel agent’s services. However, even without the assistance of these professionals, there’s still an overall higher level of customer service and satisfaction – largely due to the fact that social media has increased engagement between customers and airlines, hotels, and booking services.
Finally, advancements in technology mean that the average person is targeted with more relevant information than ever before. Companies know what you want and when to deliver it to you. Rarely are you inundated with information that doesn’t pertain to you, and you’re given deals that relate to your travel desires and needs.
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