The industry has been at the forefront of digital disruption, changing the way we travel in recent years. However, our research suggests it should brace itself for another wave of digitally fuelled transformation.

A series of industry, customer and technology trends are converging to redefine operating and business models in Aviation, Travel and Tourism. New entrants – especially digital natives such as online travel aggregators (OTAs), meta-search engines and travel service platforms – are shaking up the value chain.

The Aviation, Travel and Tourism ecosystem

Source: World Economic Forum / Accenture analysis

Growing demand for travel, particularly in emerging markets, represents a significant opportunity for these new entrants, as they challenge incumbent businesses to rapidly adapt their own strategies to capture growth. Travel providers are seeking stronger interactions with customers, while drastically changing operations, in pursuit of better insights around customer preferences and operational performance.

Connected devices and artificial intelligence (AI) will provide ample opportunities to make those operations more effective, and enable collaboration and asset-sharing between enterprises. Technology will also have an impact on the industry workforce, with employees empowered by real-time information and decision-making support from AI to focus on their core strengths.

Digital themes

These trends look set to propel the industry into a period of accelerated digitalization. Four themes have been identified that will take centre stage in shaping Aviation, Travel and Tourism over the next decade:

 Living travel experience
Travellers will experience seamless journeys tailored to their habits and preferences. Companies along the journey will optimize customer experience by collecting and exchanging data, and continuously generating insights. In time, travel will become frictionless, blending seamlessly with other everyday activities.
enabling-travel-ecosystemEnabling the travel ecosystem
Ecosystem roles are blurring as stakeholders throughout the customer journey vie to own the customer relationship. Digital platforms that enable ecosystem alliances will continue to emerge, as asset and information sharing become increasingly important from a B2B perspective.
digital-enterpriseDigital enterprise
Digital technologies that revolutionize manufacturing, optimize the real-time use of assets and eventually augment the industry workforce will transform operations. Innovations such as 3D printing, AI, the Internet of Things (IoT), virtual reality (VR) and digital commerce platforms will enable flexible working and changes to core operational processes.
 Safety and security
As identity management becomes increasingly digital, a collaborative effort towards boosting cybersecurity and protecting the privacy of traveller data will be crucial to maintaining customer trust and public safety. Digital technologies (e.g. biometrics such as facial recognition, IoT, crowd analytics and video monitoring via AI) will be used to create a ubiquitously secure environment.
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