Sunday, August 20, 2017, 1:50 pm

How millennials and the sharing economy are driving a new travel tech landscape

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DUBAI: New players are becoming a driving force in the travel tech industry, as convenient and transparent options are becoming more prevalent, particularly among younger travellers. Our new survey of more than 2,400 North American travellers, reveals interesting market data on emerging players like Google Flights, Airbnb and others, OAG said.

According to our survey sample, only 10 percent of North American travelers start their travel search process with Google Flights. On top of that, less than a quarter of consumers (23 percent) regularly use Google Flights at any point during travel searches. Yet, millennials are more than twice as likely (21 percent) as the general population to start the search process with Google Flights – an indicator that Google’s share on the market will continue to grow as millennials age. Additionally, 62 percent of all respondents indicated they would be comfortable booking directly through Google Flights if the option was offered.

Millennial behavior is a key indicator for the industry, and as this generation embraces new technologies in the travel space, it could lead to increased activity and growth for services like Google Flights – and potential disruption for traditional travel providers.

Another example of millennials signifying potential trends is that 56 percent of all travelers – and 68 percent of millennials – would likely book an Airbnb if offered on a traditional OTA platform. With sharing economy options becoming more popular, the hospitality industry may have competition in the OTA marketplace.

Still, travellers continued to echo some of the same sentiments that travel providers have been focused on over the last several years. Transparency and information are imperative, and travellers are looking for more of both.

Respondents also cited the number one change Online Travel Agencies, airlines and other travel providers can make to improve the search process is improving data transparency and information sharing.

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