Travel has a new buzzword: the connected trip. Referenced in earnings calls and at industry events by Booking.com CEO Glenn Fogel a couple of years ago, it describes a well-known concept in a new shape: the ability to sell end-to-end itineraries to travellers but in a digital, interactive, hyper-personalised way, throughout the whole travel lifecycle.
Many brands – tour operators or travel agents, large or small – specialise in selling end-to-end, tailor-made itineraries. However, the process is predominantly manual, making economies of scale difficult to achieve. This explains why the large online players have not yet sunk their teeth into this market segment. But this is about to change. In the past couple of years, large companies such as Booking.com and Expedia have increasingly started to talk about the connected trip, leaving the rest of the industry wondering when they will introduce a viable solution.
Will the online giants win the battle?
Creating such a solution is a complex endeavour, on both the functional and technical side. Furthermore, big data is needed to guarantee a greater customer experience. To build such a sophisticated technology, you’ll need software development power. But unlike the online giants, most brands do not have access to multi-million-dollar RnD budgets. Do they have to abandon the field and let Booking.com and its peers win the battle? Maybe not.
At Nezasa, we can make the connected trip available to every travel brand out there. Our industry-leading TripBuilder platform allows for complete customisation of an itinerary, including changing the route or selecting hotels, activities, car-hire, flights, etc. All this is achieved with a lot of support from within the application. Itineraries can be booked interactively with live prices and availabilities, but also with support for on-request bookings for special inventory.
Complete freedom in planning
Once the itinerary is booked, it can be adjusted, as TripBuilder ensures consistency after each modification. This allows travellers complete freedom in their planning. Importantly, they do not have to book their entire itinerary all at once. Instead, they may book one part of the trip first, perhaps the most urgent component such as the flight or hotel, and then decide later what else they want to do along the way.
We also have an in-destination solution: TripBooster. Travellers will have their itinerary with all relevant information conveniently on their smartphone. They can receive personalised real-time recommendations about additional products such as activities or rental cars that fit their itinerary like a glove and can be added with just a few clicks.
The connected trip for every brand
Using our proprietary software, travel brands around the globe can deliver the connected trip. They can combine this with their biggest assets – the deep understanding of their destinations and the close, often year-long relationship with their clients. At Nezasa, we are excited to combine our technology with our customers’ know-how and products and help brands deliver on the potential this brings. It will be even more important in the future post-Covid.
There is still work to be done, but we are striving to make the perfect, connected trip a reality and we are getting there faster than anyone else.