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The holidays are over and the new year has begun. Time to look ahead at what 2019 has in store for us.

 

Travel Agents

According to ABTA research holidaymakers will be relying more on travel agents. Even though the uncertain political situation will continue into 2019, consumers are still willing to travel, but want value for money and are therefore relying on the expertise of the travel agent to find the best deal. Travel companies are responding to this by investing in more staff and new technology. Package holidays seem to be on the up as well as travellers can lock in the costs of their holidays beforehand to avoid any surprises later on.

 

Responsible Travel

Making the world a better place was a hot topic last year and will continue to be very important to many in 2019. The demand for sustainable and responsible holidays will continue to rise. Expect more travel companies to ditch the plastic and become greener and offer more holidays that allow travellers to give back to the local community.  

 

Cruise

Cruise holidays will continue to grow especially among the 18-24 year-olds, according to the ABTA Travel Trends report for 2019. Cruise operators are responding to this demand as the choice of destinations and type of cruise holidays seems to be bigger and more varied than ever. Travellers can choose from specialist cruises such as wellness, active, foodie, solo cruises, etc.

 

Travel industry trends for 2019

 

Besides consumer driven trends, we’ll also see government driven trends shaping the travel industry over the coming months.

 

MTD

MTD or ‘Making Tax Digital’ means that after April VAT returns will need to be filed electronically. This means that the software travel companies use has to be able to store, supply and receive information digitally via HMRC’s platform. It’s worth having a chat with your tech partner to see how your business can prepare for MTD..

 

Brexit

As I’m writing this, no one really knows how this one will pan out. ! thing is certain, that things are likely to remain uncertain for a while and companies should prepare for the worst possible scenario.

 

And there are some tech trends as well.

NDC

GDSs are working towards rolling out technology which enables travel agencies to book flights using the NDC standard. According to the travel experts, NDC is here to stay and more airlines are expected to adopt it. Although it might still be a while till NDC will truly replace the traditional GDS.

 

VR, AI and Blockchain will continue to grow as well and more travel companies will adopt these technologies to facilitate customers service, sales efforts and other back office admin tasks.

One thing's for sure. 2019 will be an exciting year.

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