In the news: Survey on holiday trends for Q3, Travelport’s commercial team strengthened, SITA’s purchase of MEXIA Interactive

Travel: Longer trips and closer to home this December for travellers, study finds

Travellers are opting for regional and longer trips. (Image credit: MongkolChuewong/iStock-Getty Images)

Christmas and New Year holidays fall mid-week this year, on a Tuesday, and this has influenced one third of travellers planning trips in December to go away for 12 days or more, with the majority vacationing within their region.

This is the observation of Jackie Lamping, VP of marketing at Sojern, which has released its fourth Global Travel Insights report of 2018 that offers a quarterly analysis of global travel trends.

“Travellers are planning trips far in advance this year—and planning long durations—providing a lucrative opportunity for forward-thinking travel marketers to influence the holiday path to purchase,” she added.

This latest report from Sojern, which offers real-time traveller audiences and digital marketing solutions for the travel industry, provides insight into traveller search and booking behaviour of Q3 2018.

Here are some key key findings:

• Travellers opting for longer local trips: The trend of travelling longer in the region is happening worldwide. For December trips, more than one-third of all Asia-Pacific and European travellers are searching for extended short-haul trips of more than 12 days. In Latin America and the Middle East and Africa more than 50% of travellers are planning short-haul trips of 12 or more days. North Americans who are traveling within the region are looking more at extended stays, with 33% of short-haul searches for eight days or more.

• Asia Pacific travellers are earliest planners: An estimated 42% of Asia Pacific travellers plan trips of 60 or more days in advance of the departure date. This is significantly higher than all other global travellers with Latin Americans a close behind at 40%. European and North American travellers search 60 days in advance at 36% and 33% respectively. However, travellers from the Middle East and African conduct the least searches, just more than 30 days in advance.

• The Middle East and Africa leads with mobile searches: Fifty-three per cent of all travel searches in Q3 in the Middle East and Africa are conducted on mobile devices, compared with 51% in Europe, 45% Asia Pacific and 40% in Latin America. In contrast North American travellers favour desktop, with 69% still using desktop for their travel searches.

Download the full report here.

People: Travelport strengthens its commercial team to drive growth

Travelport has made three senior appointments to its commercial team, led by chief commercial officer Stephen Shurrock, in a move to drive growth.

The team new members are Fiona Shanley, chief customer & marketing officer; Nick Dagg, head of agency sales; and Jason Clarke, head of travel partners.

Dagg joined Travelport in late October from DXC Technology where he led the UKIMEA go-to-market teams. He was previously with Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Services and IBM Global Business Services.

Clarke, who has been with the company since 2004, was previously its head of agency sales. In his new role he will oversee a newly-created function incorporating all content relationships across Travelport’s air, hospitality and car partners. He will also be responsible for the Airline IT services business, as well as its digital sales organisation.

In a related development, Damian Hickey is appointed global head of air partners within the Travel Partners team. He has global responsibility for Travelport’s air content strategy and commercial relationship with its airline partners, having held leadership positions in the company’s Asia Pacific region since 2012.

Technology: SITA acquires MEXIA Interactive to improve airport operations and passenger flow management

MEXIA technology helps manage passenger flow at airports.(Image credit: ArtMassa/iStock-Getty Images)

Leading specialist in air transport communications and IT solutions SITA has acquired MEXIA Interactive (“MEXIA”), a global provider of curb-to-gate passenger analytics for the air transport industry.

Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

SITA said the acquisition would enhance its existing airport operations and passenger flow management solutions. “Customers will benefit from a comprehensive and predictive view of passenger flow information that will result in greater operational efficiencies and improved services.”

MEXIA was founded in 2011 and based in Winnipeg, Canada. Its technology identifies and predicts bottlenecks in various queues such as check-in, security and taxi lines while monitoring the amount of time passengers spend in airports.

The company also helps airports find non-aeronautical revenue potential by providing shopper numbers, conversion rates, and trends through insights on passengers dwelling in the airport.

MEXIA currently works with some of the largest airports around the world.

“Airports increasingly need comprehensive and sophisticated technology solutions that help them meet the continued growth in passenger numbers while improving the overall airport experience,” said Barbara Dalibard, CEO of SITA.

The acquisition of MEXIA would help SITA strengthen its airport portfolio, “providing our customers with automated predictive analytics and detailed passenger flow management throughout the airport,” she added.

Demand for queue management solutions has in the past few years emerged as a key focus area for airport operators. According to the 2018 Air Transport IT Insights Survey, the implementation of ‘wait-time monitoring’ has jumped from 31% of airports in 2017 to 42% in 2018.

SITA said it would further develop MEXIA’s solutions to advance the portfolio including the application of its artificial intelligence (AI)/data science expertise by its Montreal-based team. It will also continue to provide global support for all MEXIA’s existing and future customers.

Featured image credit: seb_ra/iStock-Getty Images



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