The way we travel has dramatically changed over the past 30 years. Our parents and grandparents did not have nearly as many opportunities to travel as we do now. Compared to the generation of baby boomers, millennials do not limit themselves and travel all over the world in search of unique experiences. We see more and more young people who often travel in groups or on their own to discover themselves and explore different cultures. The digital nomad life is growing in popularity, and many millennials shape their careers around traveling.
Such a rapid increase in travel and tourism has shown the ability of the industry to drive the economic growth and create a huge amount of jobs globally. In 2016, tourism has represented more than 10% of the world’s GDP and one out of every 10 jobs, and it continues growing faster than other segments of the global economy. Annual international tourist arrivals are expected to reach 1.8 billion by 2030.
Source: World Travel & Tourism Council: Travel & Tourism Global Economic Impact & Issues 2017 – March 2017.
Of course, major brands and organizations try to tap into the potential of the travel industry. Although top-notch technologies create big opportunities for them, it is not just about gadgets, devices, and applications. Good travel experience now lies at the core of the new products and services, and companies aspire to meet high customer expectations by contributing to hassle-free and seamless journeys.
Rutger van Beek, CEO of Leave Your Luggage from our Smart City & Living 2017 class, says that Seamless Travel experience has been industry’s goal for a while, but now this concept is really gaining momentum.
“Although traveling has remained a disjointed experience for years, the industry is now moving. We hear the words ‘Seamless Travel’ popping up more and more frequently. It is a good moment to jump in and be one of the first to contribute to this innovative movement.”
Seamless Travel, in essence, is making use of the latest technologies to combine many components of a journey into one uninterrupted process. This concept puts the customer first and creates a personalized experience for travelers.
Leave Your Luggage is focussing on one of the main pain points of travelers – their luggage.
“Most of the time, travelers have to check out of the hotel in the morning while their flight is only in the evening. Having their heavy luggage with them, they aren’t able to fully enjoy the rest of their day. With Leave Your Luggage, travelers can leave their belongings at the hotel. When they arrive at the airport, their suitcases will be waiting for them at the official storage depot. It’s a convenient, efficient, and secure way of traveling.”
In the future, Leave Your Luggage team wants to create a completely luggage-free experience for travelers. Rutger says that if you investigate into the customer journey from A to B and back, you will see that passengers constantly have to take care of their suitcases.
“What we want to do is to pick up traveler’s luggage at home, check it in for them at the airport, and load it on the plane. When the plane lands and the luggage goes on the luggage belt, we pick it up and bring it to the traveler’s accommodation. The traveler himself does not have to be in contact with their luggage at any time during their journey.”
Leave Your Luggage wants to to create a completely luggage-free experience for travelers
Making this happen may be a big challenge for the startup. Roy van Beek, CCO of Leave Your Luggage, explains that traveling involves a lot of different providers and stakeholders, from transportation to accommodation. Making a small change in the process is difficult, and innovations are adopted very slowly.
Rutger adds that it also has to do with security.
“As our goal is to be able to check in the luggage for the passengers, we face a lot of challenges regarding the security side of the check in process. You can imagine that there are certain guidelines and rules in the aviation sector that make it impossible at this moment. However, if you look at railway security, it is completely different. When you travel from Amsterdam to Paris, a conductor will check your ticket but not your luggage. The process in trains is simple and lean, but we still can’t do it in the airports. Why?”
Leave Your Luggage team is positive that this will change over the next 5 years.
“There are many companies and initiatives out there that are focussing on solving visa and security issues. Smart visas and smart security processes will compliment our service and will help us make Seamless Travel a reality with Leave Your Luggage.”