The Future Looks High-Tech and High-Touch

For the ultimate travel experience, future travelers will tap into both high-tech options and high-touch human service.

New research from American Express Travel reveals that future travelers want it both ways. Travel should pair technology with high-quality personal service.

Most travelers (93%) said that despite digital advances in the travel industry, the value of personal service cannot be replaced. Most of the Millennials surveyed (83%) place a premium on personalization and are willing to have brands track their habits in exchange for a more customized travel experience.

The recent study, which surveyed more than 1,000 consumers on their attitudes toward travel, found that people place an even higher premium on the experiences they enjoy through travel:

  • 82% are more interested in making memories than making money;
  • 85% plan to travel as much, if not more, for leisure in the next five years; and
  • 91% would rather focus on meaningful life experiences over their profession.

When it comes to planning an epic adventure, travelers have a me-centric mindset and want to be involved in all aspects of the trip. Most (85%) said a customized itinerary is far more appealing than a pre-packaged one, and 72% would spend more time planning a trip tailored to their interests. 

Nearly all respondents (90%) said they appreciate the efforts of a travel professional to customize an experience based on their preferences. Eighty-nine percent said they also want human assistance for canceled flights or lost luggage, and 53% said they want it for getting an insider scoop on a destination.

Travelers do prefer to use technology for certain aspects of a trip:

  • Booking flights and hotels (76%);
  • Researching leisure and travel destinations (73%);
  • Checking in to flights or hotels (60%); and
  • Nearly half (47%) of respondents and 65% of Millennials say the ability to share their travel experiences on social media adds to their enjoyment of the trip.