The world of travel and tourism has experienced remarkable growth in recent years, with tourist arrivals worldwide reaching an unprecedented 1.4 billion total arrivals two years ahead of projections. Central to this growth have been online travel agents (OTAs), attracting approximately 180 million people each month. However, this proliferation of options for the modern traveler, and the subsequent commoditization of the industry, have also led to some unintended consequences — a disrupted, fragmented travel experience, and perhaps more significantly, an erosion of trust.
Today’s travelers are flooded with an abundance of information, each trip involving an array of touchpoints across hotels, airlines, tourist attractions, and transport modes. Each of these interactions is highly influenced by personal preferences, and the surge of options, while offering great choice, has also led to fragmented content and experiences.
While there’s an increased demand for speed, convenience, and comparison in travel options, particularly for the younger, mobile-friendly demographic, there’s also a mounting challenge — the need to navigate this deluge of information and determine its reliability. The rise of OTAs, inherently focused on price, has inadvertently furthered this issue, as travelers must cross-check multiple sources to verify information and secure the best deals.
However, amidst this complexity, there’s an opportunity for the travel industry to redefine its approach, focusing on restoring and strengthening trust. Consider this — despite our increasingly digital world, trust remains a foundational principle in our interactions, underpinning our willingness to transact and form relationships.
Research underscores the gravity of this issue in the travel industry: only 46% of consumers trust the travel industry, and over 70% have had their trust broken by a travel business in the past. This presents a stark reminder and a clarion call for the industry: trust matters, perhaps now more than ever.
Given this scenario, it’s evident that the industry needs to rethink its strategies, shifting focus from just price and convenience to trust and personalization.
Nextflag aspires to bring a fresh and unique perspective to the cluttered and fragmented travel industry by focusing on trust-building through personalized experiences. By tapping into the power of social networks and trusted sources for curated travel advice, we can provide a level of authenticity and personalization that’s currently missing in the market. This approach stands to resonate strongly with younger, digitally-savvy travelers, who are not just looking for convenience and variety, but are also seeking relevant and trustworthy information from sources they respect. Our technology will focus on AI to tailor recommendations based on users’ trusted social circles, thus making travel advice more relevant, personal, and reliable, thereby ensuring the accuracy and relevance that’s so pivotal to building trust.
Moreover, the inclusion of blockchain technology in our app ecosystem will serve to further amplify the trust factor, offering transparency and tangible rewards for useful contributions. This innovative approach to trust and reward systems could help distinguish us from other players in the industry. With Nextflag acting as a trusted intermediary between travelers and providers, users can benefit from a seamless travel planning experience, and businesses can connect with their audience in a more meaningful, personalized manner.
In essence, Nextflag has the potential to transform the current travel landscape by bridging gaps, enhancing trust, and empowering users with a cohesive travel planning experience, addressing the challenges faced by the travel industry and leading the way to a more user-centric, trust-driven future.
Join us while we try to re-shape the future of travel.
Gherardo, Founder & CEO