"The future belongs to the individual, their customised experience with a travel brand and its talent, which will be supported by technology in a frictionless way, driven by analytics and plugged into the human soul." - Bremner 2016
This year has truly marked a number of incredible things for Leezair. Not only did we get featured in the AFR - not once, but twice! - we also held our official launch of our mobile app - now live with thousands of activities for everyone to do around Australia. We also helped this Dutch couple on their adventures, and together with Holden, supported their search to get their GoPro back.
It never ceases to amaze me that so much can be filled in a year, and that there are endless number of possibilities for everything that can happen within the span of a year.
Out of curiosity, we took a look back at some of the biggest travel trends for the year to find out what people value the most and how Leezair has fared in 2016:
1. Travellers wanting to unplug and sign-off from work on holiday
This is one of biggest things that people increasingly value. Sometimes all we long for, is some time to unplug and disconnect. Using artificial intelligence, our app is designed to understand the individual and offer them unique travel suggestions. This makes it easier for travellers to experience the world around them by bringing them closer to activities they are likely to enjoy, in the process allowing them to truly kick back and unplug.
2. A yearning to discover untouched and unique places
With over 50,000 experiences listed on the platform, there's never a shortage of things to do and new activities to experience - especially ones that you've never heard of, but now long to experience. Who knew that ghost tours could become a Halloween tradition, or even something for the thrill-seekers in their free time?
3. Fewer barriers to travel (cheap flights, weekend breaks, smart translation apps that dissolve language barriers)
Do we really want to book activities and tours in advance without knowing what the weather will be like, or how accessible they are? Leezair gives the individual the chance to make last-minute bookings - with real-time updates on how many slots are left on each activity.
When you arrive at your destination, the app knows exactly where you are, what activities you can do around you, and whether they are suitable for the weather conditions, so that you can spend less time searching, and more time experiencing.
4. Millennials are looking for adventure (unique and authentic experiences, companies that listen to feedback, opportunities to learn something new, word of mouth recommendations)
Our app personalises recommendations based on what someone has done in the past, who they are and where they are going, if they're with family or travelling with friends. No, we don't mean this in a stalkerish way. We do it in a way that makes experiencing new activities enjoyable and convenient for you. The app is location-aware and its last-minute functionality encourages people to become more involved and active in their own surroundings.
Coupled together with artificial intelligence to work out what reviews are relevant to the user based on their social networks, this makes Leezair the only app of its kind that provides users with an unbiased catalog of things to do.
5. A preference for staycations, or travelling closer to home
Going beyond appealing to travellers, it is our aim to make Leezair a household name; to encourage people to get to know their surroundings without having to travel beyond their own shores.
Eventually, our ideal catalog will not just hold what you're looking for, but will also contain experiences you'd never have thought of wanting.
This also gives users the opportunity to discover activities they never thought existed and make the most of their free time - without having to venture far from home!
Where do we see ourselves headed?
Artificial intelligence will continue shaping the future of the industry as chatbots and virtual assistants (Siri, Google Now) can interact with humans, and quickly replace everyday mechanical tasks as we move towards a 24/7 connected world.
Personalisation is also key to the development of new technology. Granting users the opportunity to personalise their experience is becoming more highly valued, and it's when we can understand our users and present the activities they'd enjoy best, that we can truly add value to their everyday life.
Let's not forget about humanisation and being there for the user when it truly matters. More than an intuitive app, we're also an app run by real people - and you're safe with the knowledge that we're right here to help answer your queries whenever you need a hand!
All these factors are set to change the way we search, book, and experience travel, as we are already seeing with tech giants like Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon and Expedia. 2017 is going to be a huge year, and we're glad that you're on this journey with us to make the everyday extraordinary and live life to its fullest.
If you still have questions for us, read this blog for all your questions answered or simply leave a comment below to get in touch!