1. Travelers will push to level the playing field. According to a December 2014 Amadeus-Tnooz survey, online travel shoppers will demand price transparency, personalized offers and value assurance in their search and shopping experience. While social media may help travel providers serve and connect with customers, it won’t necessarily drive sales. Travelers’ pocketbooks will increasingly drive purchase decisions in 2015; more than half (54%) of survey respondents said price transparency is a critical component for travel companies moving forward. 2. Travelers will pay for personalized options. Amadeus’ Thinking Like a Retailer study reports 50 percent of airline travelers are interested in purchasing bundled ancillaries – add-ons like preferred seating, meals and beverages, entertainment, lounges and loyalty programs - to make their travels more comfortable. Another study, The Evolution of Airline Merchandising, cites a huge opportunity - more than US$130 billion in additional revenues - for airlines that invest in retailing. Industry estimates show that airlines are already earning $50 billion in annual revenues by selling ancillary services mainly through their direct channels. An additional $53 billion could be secured over the next five years by adopting an omni-channel strategy to merchandise ancillary sales. 3. Travel planners will rediscover traditional customer service. In response to the growing active senior traveler demographic, travel counselors will return to tried-and-true customer service methods like telephoning vs. texting, offering 24/7 telephone help lines, and delivering post-trip perks to generate customer loyalty. According to the Amadeus research report, “Trending with Seniors: Understanding the Active Senior Consumer Traveler,” one in every six Americans will be 65-plus years old by 2020, giving travel professionals a unique opportunity to tap senior spending power - $157 billion, according to a 2013 Forbes report. While tech-savvy to varying degrees, active senior travelers will gravitate toward travel planners who offer personalized counsel, expertise and support. Get the full story at Travel Agent Central