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The World Travel and Tourism Council recently predicted that global travel spending will grow 3.1% in 2016 – greater than the overall global economy’s expected growth of 2.3%.
Therefore, a payments solution that can seamlessly handle multiple currencies is important to travel service companies. These options can save travel service providers from paying fees for foreign currency exchange while simplify payments solutions, thus creating an ease of operations for travel service providers who are already juggling to meet growing and increasingly complex consumer demand.
Though traditional tours are still popular with older tourists, travel companies are recognizing the need to shake up those staid experiences for today’s younger adventurers who demand customized offerings that feel “authentic”.
Travel companies are constantly coming up with innovative ways to provide exciting offerings that stretch the limits of standard expectations. For travel service providers that want to capitalize on this trend, payment solutions must be flexible and customized as well, to satisfy the various vendors that must be tapped for off-the-beaten-path experiences.
The travel industry has long been at the forefront of technology—from the earliest online booking sites to today’s app-based services. Tech is about not only booking the trip but enjoying the trip itself, particularly for the ever increasing number of younger travellers.
On the supplier side, many of the companies offering new ways to book and pay for unconventional trips or packages are tech-driven enterprises.
On the consumer side, more of today’s travelers use smartphones to research and book travel. In South Africa, the local businesses offering unconventional trips are taking advantage of that to reach more prospective customers. For the San Francisco weekend, travelers are given a tablet that serves as their guide for restaurant reservations, hotel bookings, car rentals and more.
Having access to cutting-edge technology is a must for travel service providers who want to thrive in this environment and payments tech is a part of this. Virtual cards allows for payment flexibility, while enhanced data capture and robust reporting provide the security and efficiency to allow travel companies to focus their energy on traveler experience, not labor-intensive, manual reconciliation.
The bottom line is that whatever makes traveling easier to plan, book and pay for will always be in demand by tourists of all ages, but particularly the younger ones, who’ve come of age in an era where consumers wield greater power and control.