/News 02.04.24

How travel suppliers are elevating their service and product for changing customer demands

When it comes to ensuring your production enjoys an extraordinary travel experience, a big part of the magic lies in collaborating with our travel suppliers. The world of travel is continuously evolving, and travel suppliers are adapting their services in response to customer needs, traveller experience and wellbeing expectations, sustainability concerns, and advancements in technology. The travel experts at Show Group are thrilled to have built strong relationships with a diverse range of travel suppliers, and it is exciting to witness the innovative strides they are taking to meet the needs of customers.

Amidst these dynamic shifts in supplier offerings, it is important for your production’s travel team to understand how suppliers are elevating their services and their point of difference. Below, we explore some of the key changes taking place in the airline, hotel, and car rental markets.

Supporting traveller experience and wellbeing

By placing traveller experience and wellbeing in the spotlight, suppliers are on a mission to create lasting memories and forge deeper connections with travellers. They understand that a positive, memorable, and satisfying experience not only brings travellers back for more but also sparks enthusiastic word-of-mouth recommendations and fuels brand loyalty.

Exciting changes are happening in the airline industry, particularly in premium services, with multiple airlines enhancing or refurbishing their international business and premium class offerings. In-flight Wi-Fi is now widely accessible, ensuring a connected and convenient travel experience. Notably, select international carriers are offering reduced stop-over rates, strategically encouraging ‘bleisure’ travel. Additionally, airlines are investing in the expansion and improvement of lounges, both domestically and internationally, to accommodate more travellers and enhance their offerings.

When it comes to international hotel chains, the industry is witnessing a shift towards niche brands that cater to specific markets and audiences, allowing for a more personalised stay. What’s even more exciting is the inclusion of lifestyle amenities in new hotel builds such as rooftop bars and restaurants and in-house spas that create a ‘destination’ within the hotel itself, providing guests with more memorable experiences. For production companies travelling far and wide for the perfect filming location, this means more choice and access to amenities that will ensure a comfortable stay for cast and crew.

Working with a travel management company (TMC) will be important to understand the right hotel offering not only for your production but also your travellers.

Sustainability initiatives

With sustainability emerging as a prominent focus for many industries, a large number of travel suppliers have made substantial investments in initiatives aimed at diminishing their carbon footprint and showcasing their commitment to environmental preservation. This shift not only aligns with global sustainability efforts but also presents filmmakers with a wider range of choices, allowing them to partner with travel suppliers who share their commitment to sustainability.

To gain insight, we spoke with the supplier relations team at Show Group’s parent company Corporate Travel Management (CTM), whose global buying power and strong supplier relationships enables Show Group to negotiate with suppliers and provide cost-effective travel solutions to their customers.

John Balloch, Chief Partnership Officer Global Air & GDS, explains, “Airline fleet renewals are primarily motivated by the need for fuel efficiency, while hotels are implementing comprehensive sustainability programs and striving to uphold numerous environmental certifications. Car rental companies are increasingly introducing electric vehicles (EVs) into their fleet despite Australia’s vast geography. This poses challenges for sufficient public charging infrastructure, putting it behind the pace of other regions, however it also presents an opportunity for expansion and innovation throughout the region.”

By collaborating with environmentally conscious travel suppliers, filmmakers can make eco-friendly choices without compromising on quality or convenience.

Technology to support a seamless experience

Technology advancements are revolutionising the way travel suppliers operate. They are leveraging innovative solutions to streamline processes, enhance efficiency, and improve the overall travel experience.

The hotel market is responding to the customer expectations of innovation and customer experience. The introduction of artificial intelligence and chatbots are allowing hotel brands to service their in-house customers 24/7, while freeing up their operational staff to attend to more complex tasks. According to Hospitality Technology, some of these chatbots are even built to detect emotion and distress signs, allowing the chatbot to reply appropriately. One such property is The Dorsett Melbourne, which has embraced technological advancement by innovating with two Guest Service Robots (GSR) for efficient check-ins.

Some hoteliers are making use of virtual reality to provide tours of their products and services. There is also the use of mobile check-in that can be conducted on the go, smart hotels that extend automated checkout, self-service kiosks, guest apps, and keyless room entry, that all make the customer experience fast and efficient.

Airlines have also been investing in technology to improve customer service, in the airport, at the gate, and during the onboard experience. Further, biometrics continue to be used by airlines to evolve and further reduce the time it takes from check-in to boarding. Some airlines have adopted the biometric passenger experience, which eliminates the need to present boarding passes or passports at the airline’s various service points. Those passengers who enrol for this service are automatically recognised at the self-service bag drop, airline lounges or boarding gate with no need to present any travel documents, shaving off time that can instead be utilised enjoying the terminal facilities, airport lounges, catching up on work or rest. Star Alliance, as an example, is aiming to have 12-15 of its airline members implement biometric solutions by 2025.

It’s exciting to see how travel suppliers are transforming their offerings to support traveller wellbeing and sustainability and integrating technologies that streamline the customer experience. As suppliers continue to evolve, close collaboration with your Travel Management Company (TMC) will be key in identifying the ideal travel partners for your production.

Contact Show Group’s friendly team today to find out how we can connect you with the ideal travel provider and experience customised travel solutions for your production.
Phone: +61 2 8302 2599