Homes vs Hotels
There is an ongoing “three-way battle” in the trillion-dollar travel and tourism sector, where each type of provider is looking to overcome their capability gap for customers. Travel Agents place a premium in the personalization of service but are unable to keep up with the shift towards real-time technology for rates and availability of holiday homes and private accommodation. Online Travel Agents are a step ahead in their integration of modern technology for booking systems and inventory but cannot compete with service demands due to their virtual presence. Meanwhile the Sharing Economy and new niche players offer only select inventory and specific local knowledge, and are not able to compete on the service and technology fronts for travellers in 2016.
The end result is that customer demand is changing forevermore and travel and booking providers need to accommodate this regardless. Everyone wants the “next level of travel experience”, and people across the world will increasingly choose homes and private accommodation, such as villas over hotels, in order to have their “own” unique bespoke holiday as long as the quality and service can be provided for them.
Technology on Holidays
There is a changing sophistication in the travel space evolving into what we see as “The Digital Golden Age of Travel”, where booking everything online via smartphone and always having high-speed Wi-Fi in villas and private accommodation is not the future, it is the now. A whopping 87% of global travellers use mobile devices, with today’s guest arriving with up to three – laptop, mobile, tablet, etc. Many of these devices can only use data when connected to Wi-Fi. It is therefore an essential requirement for the modern traveller that is no longer up for compromise.
Mobile devices and computers are being used simultaneously, as well as high-demand tools such as video calling and streaming services. What was once a feature offered typically to just the business user, now everyone wants. People that have been ingrained into the social era are becoming anxious of not being able to access emails on their laptops, surf the net, and post about their trip on social media instantaneously while they’re away.
This increase in demand for mobile functionality has driven a rise in smartphone photography to 58% and app use almost exactly equal at 57%, according to a report from BDRC Continental Holiday Trends. In the near future there will be increased pressure on holiday homes (as well as hotel chains) to provide sufficient Internet access and hardware, top-quality security assurance, and straightforward logistics of how to login and use the net while away. Holidaymakers need to have their best quality and greater bandwidth of Wi-Fi for their phones as an extension of themselves in order to capture the holiday moment, plan their days, and research what’s hot in new travelling spots. Nomophobia – the increasingly used term coined for fear of being without a mobile phone – can be just as stress-inducing if the phone is with them but simply has no connection.
Working Remotely Abroad
Holiday packages of the future are being tailored more and more according to demographic profiling. Changing consumer patterns for marketing are impacting how travellers are grouped by their likes/dislikes (social capital seeker, culture junkie, adventure lover, etc.) rather than purely by geography or budget.
In the same vein, the unstoppable momentum of technology is introducing game-changing shifts allowing for peoples personality to be more tailored into their employment choices, particularly interesting in the travel and hospitality sectors. There is now a record number of self-employed workers and remote workforces (more building themselves as we speak) where people act as freelance holiday ambassadors, contributing as and when they want to record and review their holiday experience for willing websites and travel publications hungry for content.
According to the Office for National Statistics, self-employment in the UK is at its highest level in over 40 years, with 4.6 million people working for themselves making up a 15% proportion of the total workforce. This self-made generation just needs a Wi-Fi connection to post their content, and although they may sacrifice somewhat on having lesser pay or no set business infrastructure, working remotely while abroad and having holidays as part of your own job scope is very enticing indeed for a wide-range of tech-savvy freelancers for luxury, lifestyle, travel and tourism media.
Ministry of Villas are experts in personalized travel and accommodation, helping thousands of travellers choose the perfect holiday home getaway, affirming unquestionably that if you stay just one night in a villa you’ll never stay in a hotel again.