Travel experiences are unique for each human being. What’s fun or enjoyable to me, might not be so for you.
There is a lot of travel data out there that’s already hard at work. However, there’s a lot more information that tells of the subjective experience of travelers. Unfortunately, much of this is not yet digitally accessible
If you are not figuring out how access to this information, then your product will become become irrelevant.
The Subjective Aspects of Travel
At a recent DojoLive! episode we ended up talking about the subjective aspect of the travel experience. This got my attention.
This came in the context of understanding the value of a travel data with Layton Han, CEO and David Morrow, VP of Global Marketing at Adara.
For example, language barriers, urban surroundings, social interactions, and personal preferences affect the travel experience. Travel tech product companies should realize this.
The question is how to measure these things. How can they be made to yield useful data that would help benefit users?
— David Morrow
Travel experiences are unique, memorable, and personal. They are multi-sensory, emotional, and transformational. They shape the quality of a great travel experience.
Software companies need to move beyond this paradigm. Travel is much more than reporting about the price of hotels and the number of flights between point X and Y. It should also about people and culture. It is also about how travelers see others.
You can see this in travel blogs, videos, and social media posts. These help make travelers and their friends active participants in the experience.
For example, bloggers tell stories that are useful in understanding the subjective dimensions of travel. This is a way of understanding non-visible and rarely stated elements in the travel experience. Travel software companies and their customers will benefit from catching this information.
“Data is not just about learning more about your customer. You’ve got to be able to act on that as well.”
— David Morrow
Subjective Turned Effective
The subjective aspects of the travel experience must become a focal concept in the travel tech world.
Booking a room and finding a plane ticket are only part of the experience.
The deeper, more telling part of it comes from the stories travelers tell as they enrich, evaluate, and reflect upon their experiences.
Yet, a lot of this information remains inaccessible and travel tech companies. They’ve so far failed to take into account travelers’ actions and perceptions of events. This means that they miss out on how these turn into memorable experiences that are personally meaningful.
With Machine Learning these un-measurable information will, hopefully, become more accessible digitally in the near future.
Travelers are not just numbers and stats on a spreadsheet. Tech travel companies must figure out how to incorporate the plethora of stories that travelers leave behind. It won’t be easy, but it’s critically important.
After all, taste buds, quirks, and moods vary in over 6 billion ways.
— Layton Han