Yes, travel can be torturous, what with the endless lines, the sardine effect of packing 500 people into economy class, the reality that legroom must be purchased, and, more recently, the likelihood that your flight will be canceled.

All this has been going on for two years, yet who hasn’t been plotting their escape the whole time?

Some people call it “revenge travel,” but for others, it’s simply a chance to take a long-awaited honeymoon, reconnect with distant relatives, or escape the confines of their home office for a time.

Since this is the case, my firm has found that app downloads for the leading U.S. airlines, hotels, and online travel companies are up 45% over the previous year.

The airline industry is benefiting from this trend, with an increase of 70% in both April and May for airline-related apps. This massive influx of mobile traffic results in cutthroat competition, with customer loyalty among travelers serving as the ultimate prize.

What Changes Have Been Made To Travel Apps To Meet User Expectations?

Even if they are being used more frequently, airlines with the highest cancellation rates are seeing a decline in their share of new customers in favor of more dependable airlines.

Although the travel industry is not under the same level of danger to customer experience as airlines, we are nevertheless seeing market share shakeups, which suggests that post-pandemic passengers are willing to try something new.

This may be the reason for the recent spate of developments in the travel industry, such as Airbnb’s first redesign in a decade, which reflects a shift in user behavior away from straightforward searching and toward discovery, thanks to the app’s use of AI learning to surface suggestions.

Airbnb’s “splits” feature offers a combined package of multiple locations, spreading out guests’ stays across the company’s current limited inventory and enticing them to stay longer. At the same time, VRBO’s heavy advertising spending capitalizes on the popularity of group vacations by facilitating the search for a rental by multiple guests at once.

As a result of the success of retail’s use of influencers and video to create a “wish you were here” atmosphere, the travel industry is increasingly integrating across platforms, with companies like beta testing Snap’s Dynamic Travel Ads and Marriott forming a partnership with Yahoo.

I noticed in June that it was significant when the mobile-first hotel/flight booking app Hopper overtook Airbnb’s lead in market share by monthly active users, growing 494%, but in May, VRBO overtook Hopper and is still ahead of Airbnb.

This highlights the importance of investing in back-end technology and user experience if you want to remain competitive.

Requirements, Needs, and Wants of Today’s Consumer

Since Southwest Airlines’ new CEO, Bob Jordan, has made mobile a top priority from the get-go and stated that the company will invest in better technology like self-service and reliable wifi, I believe that the travel industry is finally utilizing mobile to its full potential, drawing on embedded GPS functionality and taking advantage of the immediacy of handheld devices, frictionless transactions, and on-the-go browsing.

It’s become commonplace to anticipate perks like no-penalty cancellations, purchase protection, and mobile check-in, allowing customers to avoid speaking with a human at the front desk as infection rates fluctuate.

In exchange, significant players are cutting support costs and making all interactions trackable by offering incentives for customers to download their branded apps.

When I needed help from customer service during a recent trip, I was really frustrated until I realized that I couldn’t join the live help line unless I was logged into their app.

New Nomads

The promise of always-on connectivity, cloud-based tools, and mobile-first technology has allowed Generation Z and others to anticipate liberation from the confines of the office and the rise of nomadic lifestyles.

Cruise expert Carolyn Spencer Brown told Town & Country magazine, “Younger individuals who can work from anywhere are in the game,” booking itineraries such as Oceania’s 218-day excursion with overnights in destinations like Kyoto and Buenos Aires, which may seem a bit dated to some Baby Boomers.

Although those without ties to a permanent residence or children may find it simpler to adopt a nomadic lifestyle, an increasing number of professionals across all age groups are doing so as businesses reduce their emphasis on employees’ physical locations and increase their focus on employees’ results rather than their hours put in.

My company’s younger employees are increasingly likely to take extended periods away from the office to travel.

One of our top sales reps spent six months in Costa Rica and still managed to increase sales significantly. Another of our top customer success reps has probably relocated permanently to Mexico.

The best decisions you can make as a CEO or business leader, in my opinion, are the ones that have no adverse effect on business operations but have a fantastic impact on employees, such as providing them with paid time off, allowing them to work remotely, or both.