Travellers are beginning to consider the ‘happiness’ factor as importantly as price when booking travel, Travel Mole has reported, citing a separate research report.
According to new research by World Travel Market, holidaymakers and travellers are demanding more comfort and added value to seek a higher ‘happiness score’. The WTM Global Trends Report 2013, commissioned in association with Euromonitor International, highlights the emerging trends in the global travel and tourism industry, and says that ‘happiness factor’ is now as important as price.
In the US, flight meta-search website, Routehappy.com, which was launched in April this year, provides flight Happiness Factors and Happiness Scores on a scale of one to 10 helping consumers select flights based on comfort and suitability.
Using “Flightpad,” proprietary Product Attribute Database, Routehappy studies airlines and airplanes globally combining traveller experience with low prices and flight availability.
Consumers can set their own happiness criteria, according to in-flight services, based on incentives such as ear-plugs, wi-fi, entertainment, leg room and other factors. The WTM report also says that smart phones and tablets will be the key customer service tool in travel within the next five years and that budget carriers will offer more ‘frills’ in the future in order to remain competitive.
“Our Happiness Score is very important to airlines. Why? Airlines are working hard to move away from air travel being a commoditised, price and schedule-only decision,” Robert Albert, Founder and CEO, Routehappy.
With more than 100,000 unique visitors at launch and over 30 percent of visitors returning in July 2013, the Routehappy site is a unique offering with the UK as the leading European source of demand. According to the report, the UK air transportation segment is expected to record two percent growth over 2012-2017, to reach £31 billion air travel retail sales by 2017.
Other transportation modes such as bus and cruising, as well as hotel and travel retail players, is likely to follow suit and adopt the ”Happiness Score? approach, the report said.