AWS for Industries

Insights from the AWS and Tealium customer meet-up: Digital transformation in travel and hospitality

AWS and Tealium, an AWS Travel and Hospitality Competency Partner, recently co-hosted an event in the heart of Miami, Florida to bring together hospitality and technology industry leaders from across the region. Leaders from major cruise lines, hotel and resort groups, and automotive and high-tech organizations came together at one of the Brickell area’s most coveted restaurants to share insights and talk about the latest trends impacting the industry.

Travel and hospitality companies are more dependent on digital transformation. Brands need to collect, connect, and activate data faster and more effectively than ever before. Greg Land, Global Head of Accommodation, Lodging, Casino, and Cruise at AWS, and Allan Rogers, Lead Customer Success Architect at Tealium, sat down to discuss what’s driving this digital evolution, and how customer obsession goes as deep as your data.

Here are some key takeaways from the event.

Digital strategies must evolve as customer preferences do

Consumer behavior has significantly changed since the onset of the pandemic. Historically, the travel space has undergone peaks and valleys, but now the seasonality of when people travel is fading. With the shift to remote work during the pandemic, employees are embracing the perks of “working from anywhere” by incorporating travel into their remote work lives.

To keep up with this shifting mindset, it’s critical for organizations to utilize data for enhanced forecasting. Harnessing the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), organizations must implement tactics to detect changes to consumer behavior in real time during every step of their journey. To most successfully adopt data-first strategies, travel and hospitality groups must break down both data and team silos to understand customer journeys across digital and on-property experiences. Having all the data in the world does nothing if you can’t analyze or act on it.

Due to these shifts, many travel and hospitality brands realized the need to adopt tools and teams to improve the guest experience through data. The time to invest is now. Proper wrangling and usage of data will allow travel and hospitality groups to quickly identify changes in guest behavior and immediately shift inventory management, pricing rules, campaign management, and other processes to send the right message at the right time, ultimately improving guest experience and increasing revenue.

Get better connected to the connected traveler

Today’s connected travelers are vocal about their experiences via review sites and often share photos and videos with their personal networks. To better understand the evolving personas of today’s traveler, it’s important to reimagine what they are experiencing.

Connecting to consumers via mobile is becoming more and more important. Many hospitality groups and airlines are reengineering loyalty programs that have been traditionally geared toward business travelers and the road warriors. Travelers want instant access to relevant property information at their fingertips, which offers an enormous opportunity for brands. Guests are conditioned to install and use apps for travel, giving brands direct access to customers for relevant messaging. From “agents on demand,” to in-flight entertainment, mobile ordering room service, to last-minute activity and event booking, travelers expect a stellar experience both via digital and on-premises.

Creating a more personalized experience will also help let loyalty members know what they can use their points on and encourage them to book additional offers during and post-travel. Additionally, COVID-19 helped brands realize that travelers value experiences powered by touchless and contactless technology, such as kiosks for check-ins and mobile key delivery. The acceptance and adoption of device-based ordering and delivery in virtually every sector has affected expectations for the self-service functionalities of travel. For companies wanting to meet the new demands of consumers, it’s imperative to capture data in real time to keep up with a customer’s journey from check-in to check-out.

Travelers will opt in for a better experience, but only if they trust you

Most hospitality and travel companies are global. From airlines, to cruise lines to hotels, and when customers cross country lines, there are many privacy policies and regulations to consider.

Gathering data from existing customers and encouraging them to opt in is becoming more and more crucial. Authentication and consent strategy should be key concerns for travel and hospitality companies. Asking for consent and informing customers about how their information is being stored and used has never been more important to customers. Customers expect brands to store their data responsibly and use it to create a better experience, which is becoming more complex as more privacy legislation is passed.

This is what we call the privacy paradox. Travel and hospitality companies are in a unique position to use data from customers to present helpful content that can make amazing travel memories, but brands know that this is no simple feat.

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Leveraging data to get an enterprise-level, actionable view of the customer is imperative in better serving travelers. With changing preferences, consumers being more connected than ever before on multiple devices, and privacy remaining top-of-mind, the ability to anticipate needs throughout the entire customer journey is indispensable. Tealium delivers strategic and innovative solutions that run on AWS to help customers to cross-sell and upsell, deliver real-time results and services, and create personalized experiences that better retain and attract customers. Learn how you can use the Tealium Customer Data Hub to take action on data in real time.

Greg Land

Greg Land

Greg Land serves as Global Segment Leader in the Travel & Hospitality industry vertical at AWS, with responsibility for go-to-market strategy, business development and industry solutions development for accommodations, lodging, casino and cruise customers. Prior to joining AWS, he served in leadership roles with IBM, American Airlines, Sabre, Wyndham Hotel Group and Radius Global Travel Management spanning a 25+ year career across the travel industry. Mr. Land holds bachelor’s degrees in Computer Science and Accounting, and completed his masters of business administration at Oklahoma State University. He also completed the executive global leadership program at The Wharton School of Business.

Allan Rogers

Allan Rogers

Allan Rogers is a Lead Customer Success Architect at Tealium. Allan’s team helps Tealium’s customers achieve CDP success. Prior, Allan Rogers worked at Caesars Entertainment in charge of its personalization program. Allan Rogers was also a concierge at the Paris Las Vegas where he gained an interesting front of house perspective on the guest experience.