Travel Innovation and Technology Trends 2015

Travel Innovation and Technology Trends 2015 Published May 2015 Analysts: Bob Offutt, Colie Hoffman


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For technology futurists, this is a great time. We are able to observe in real time how new technology affects and improves our lives, enables new business opportunities, and allows new and different kinds of human-machine interaction. In addition, many of the essential catalysts for technology-enabled growth – e.g., large numbers of highly educated people, rapid pace of technological discovery, globalization, and relative political stability – are at their strongest point yet in human history.

The keys to business and personal progress in this tech-enabled era are connectivity and interoperability. Connectivity is already very high – there are mobile phone accounts for 96% of the people on the planet, and approximately 40% of the global population has Internet access. This connectivity is rapidly becoming the foundation for the global economy – and leveraging hyper connectivity for business value has just begun.

In travel distribution, marketing and IT executives need to look at new technology-enabled business opportunities through the eyes of venture capitalists – evaluate potential and risks and rewards; manage tech initiatives with a portfolio approach; and create a mix of shorter- and longer-term initiatives with varying ROI. Travel sales, which totaled $1.3 trillion in 2014, are expected to rise 6% in 2015, and competition will be intense. This year’s Travel Innovation and Technology Trends pinpoints the biggest trends that businesses need to consider before making their next technology investments.

For the first time, this year we identify a "super trend" that incorporates two subtrends. While each subtrend would be unlikely to shift the trajectory of the travel industry on its own, together they represent a major direction. The focus of 2015's trends: the customer and the trip experience.  

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  • Introduction
  • Trends: 2015
    • Trend 1: No CEM, No Customers
    • Trend 2: A Market of One: The Brass Ring?
    • Trend 3: Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Computing Open Opportunities
    • Trend 4: Collaborative Consumption
    • Trend 5: Digital Marketing – No Time (or Space) to Waste
  • Super Trend: Building the Seamless Travel Experience
    • Content Remains King
    • Connecting Travelers and Trips

Technology has so evolved that we can now use it to observe our own technology-related behavior. In real time, we can see how technology changes our lives, how we interact with it, and how it enables new business opportunities. As the gap between ourselves and our devices shrinks, connectivity and interoperability become more essential to our daily lives – and to commercial progress. For travel companies, competition has grown extremely intense, pushing sales to an all-time high in 2014. Before travel executives select tech investments for 2015 and beyond, they need to consider six major industry trends. All six share the same two focal points: the customer and the trip experience.

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