Emergent trends in Traveltech

As the travel industry continues to grow, so does the level of competition. Whether it’s from Online Travel Agents (OTAs), new startups or travellers themselves offering up their homes and services, it’s never been tougher to get ahead. So how are travel businesses fighting for customers in this crowded market? Our top 5 current Traveltech trends, which are presently receiving high levels of investment, reveal some of the answers. There is a marked focus on improving the customer journey in the industry, making it as quick, intuitive and customisable an experience as possible. Hyper- Personalisation and User-Experience (UX) Enhancement were the most common trends to emerge from our venture data, with over 40% of companies using technology and data specifically to improve the customer experience. The analysis also showed high levels of investment into ‘Anything-as-a- Service’ (XaaS) solutions, with travel companies looking to further improve the customer journey and enhance their technical capabilities — especially from accommodation providers looking to take back direct sales from OTAs.

As well as current trends, the venture analysis also identified emerging trends that will likely grow in a big way over the upcoming months. Forecasting future trends is vital in order to innovate: for companies looking to develop new strategies, focusing on current trends is already too late. Big Data Analysis is becoming a vital tool for businesses as the competition grows. Tracking trends, opinions and other details — and using the insights gained from them — has never been more important to understand how best to develop in a continually changing industry. Of all the stages in the industry, Search and Booking are the busiest. As a result On Demand Services, VR and Virtual Assistants are likely to grow as the current UX Enhancement trend continues to evolve and develop, and early-stage ventures look for ways to differentiate themselves from the bigger players.

Trend definition


Using data to provide personalised and targeted products to individual customers.

Anything-as-a-Service (XaaS)

A B2B service delivery model in which services such as software and associated data are delivered over the internet via the cloud.

Chatbots & Virtual Assistants

A program that can simulate conversation with humans.

Big Data Analysis

Examining large and varied data sets to find patterns, links, trends and more to help make better business decisions.

On Demand Services

The ability to provide resource and service whenever and wherever needed.

UX Enhancement

Working to better a customer’s experience when using a product or service based on their emotions, attitudes and interactions.

AI & Smart Tech

The simulation of human behaviour, such as self-learning, by technology capable of making intelligent decisions and simulating the processes of the neural activity of the human brain.

Sharing Economy

A system in which objects or services, such as your apartment or a car ride, are shared between private individuals (either for free or for a set fee).

Virtual Reality (VR) & Augmented Reality (AR)

Using software to create a believable artificial environment, usually through sight and sound.

Venture investment stages

Disruption tracking

Travel companies need to track and better connect with the global startup market. They need to understand the trends, and the businesses behind those trends. Only then will they be able to anticipate change. And with that insight they need to evolve strategies, planning and budgeting to consider a range of scenarios, finding faster ways to meet the increasing demands and changes of the environment driven by digital innovation. What is clear is that big businesses need to get better at creating products and services to meet the rapidly changing consumer needs. Catching up with what’s happening today is no longer top priority — things will already have changed. Our Traveltech Trends Report 2017/18 showcases a number of key startups, that are pushing forward in current and emerging trends, fast gaining notoriety and growing in market traction.