THE NEED FOR TRAVEL INDUSTRY INNOVATION

Travel Industry Trends - The BHive

CONTRIBUTOR: Tammy Marshall

“DANGER WILL ROBINSON! DANGER!”

32% of businesses that exist today, will not exist in 5 years’ time. And, more than 5 million jobs that exist in Australia today, will disappear in the coming years.

They’re scary stats aren’t they? But as technology advances at a pace that most people and businesses are struggling to keep up with, it’s hard to not to notice the changes occurring around us – and they’re now coming at us thick and fast.

The subjects of and discussions around the expected impacts of automation, AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning, have seriously stepped up a gear and are now more common place than not. And, if you believe the doomsdayers, the robots are coming after all of us! – “Danger Will Robinson! Danger!” – so it looks like we all better get our skates on.

All this hype and the reality of it means that innovation is front and centre for those in the know. Innovation is now a mandatory to ensure a business’s survival in the not too distant future. And, if you’re not seriously thinking about it or not already looking at innovation in your space, then you’re clearly behind the eight ball…

In the travel space, consumers, particularly the ‘millennials’, are driving massive change by demanding more when it comes to the travel industry and the services it provides. Technology has now caught up to what they’ve always wanted it to do and now they’re good to go, so watch out!

4 Travel trends to look out for in 2017

  1. The Sophisticated Consumer Search: The traditional travel agent, already under fire from digital alternatives and the growth of online travel agents (OTAs), is now fading fast. Free tools using advanced technologies like IA and machine learning now let you search across thousands of travel booking sites, serving up curated, personalised options based on preferences you share with them.
  1. The Virtually Inspired – The rise of virtual reality (VR) means consumers are able to immerse themselves abroad and virtually experience a holiday before they take it – the ultimate in try before you fly!
  1. Travel Advice on Call Service – Available travel advice services can point you in the direction of a great restaurant or source a paid guided tour – drawing on inside knowledge of their members e.g. airbnb experiences, Google Trips, Uber, etc.
  1. Introducing the sharing economy travel experiences: Alongside the shift towards experience based travel, anyone can now create and promote their own touring experiences via airbnb.

Accelerating Innovation

Having loved working in the Hospitality, Tourism, Travel and Leisure industries for so many years, it made sense that my next step would be to now focus on helping the broader industry come to grips with the challenges that lay ahead of it.

As an innovation and change specialist, my goal is to help businesses and individuals to reset for the future. So, I founded The B Hive to inspire others to respond to change, to help them transform and to shift their mind set to one where innovation is embraced as a way of future proofing themselves against the rapid rate of technological change.

Let’s just put it out there – the pathway to innovation is hard and not for the weak of mind or heart. But one way to amplify growth and innovation is to outsource business problems as a way of creating new solutions, entirely new markets or product opportunities that accelerate growth.

Incubators, Accelerators, Venture Capital, M&A or Corporate Accelerators are all an economic means to drive innovation and increase your odds for successful innovation.   While it’s everyone’s role in an organisation to play their part in innovation, it’s essential that companies become serial innovators and collaborate with external partners to sustain business success.  Today, more and more companies are taking advantage of external knowledge and insights to drive innovation and mitigate their own risk of disruption.  Corporate accelerators offer a perfect platform for existing businesses with strong brands, distribution and customer relationships.

Slingshot is Australia’s leading corporate accelerator delivering world-class innovation and investment opportunities to corporates.   As a Slingshot Business Mentor for the last couple of years, I am happy to say that Slingshot is now focused on the Tourism and Hospitality space with a new accelerator due to launch to the market on 31st July 2017 with the program commencing on the 3rd October 2017. Slingshot is also currently running the QANTAS Avro Accelerator program. Lion Unleashed was launched just last week and other corporate partners who are currently or have run corporate accelerators include Seek & Hudson, HCF and NRMA.

Corporate accelerators are becoming an important tool for companies to deal with the most disruptive period in the history of the corporate world.   It’s great to see the Tourism and Hospitality industry start to seriously tackle innovation and I am excited that I’ve officially taken on the role of Slingshot’s Senior Industry Advisor for the Hospitality and Tourism sectors.

So, if you’re keen to work out how you can get your company up to speed in the innovation space, please drop me an email (tammy@thebhive.com.au) and let’s chat.

References:
CEDA Australia’s Future Workforce
Ted Talks -https://www.ted.com/talks/martin_reeves_how_to_build_a_business_that_lasts_100_years

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