The wave of digital transformation has swept most verticals and changed the competitive landscape especially in the travel industry. what impact digital transformation will have on the travel industry in the next 20 years.
Let's take a look at a set of forecasts from the World Tourism Organization.
Up to US$305 billion value created for the industry by enhancing profitability;
Value transfer from traditional enterprises to newcomers, to the tune of $100 billion;
$700 billion worth of benefits generated for users and businesses by increasing security, and generating time and money saving.
Travel companies at the cutting edge are leveraging digital technologies to develop at an unprecedented rate. What does this mean for others in the industry?
The Digital Travel Awards program aims to recognize digital transformation pioneers who have demonstrated excellence in digital marketing, product innovation and new technology in the past year. The awards will mark the way forward for digital transformation, and industry practitioners can learn from high achievers to blaze their own innovation trails.
The Innovation Marketing Contest and Product Innovation Challenges held in conjunction with the Travel Daily Conference have attracted many outstanding entries in the past. The competition framework has been refined to ensure a more effective selection and evaluation process.
Submission process optimized
An Entry Guide will be published listing award categories and the entry submission process. It will provide a step-by-step guide to encourage participation.
Judging mechanism refined
Each award category will have a judging panel of several experts from the digital marketing and product innovation fields. They will evaluate and identify inspiring outstanding submissions objectively. The judging panel will have wide and fair representation on the judging panel, comprising senior executives from different segments in the travel industry, investors of innovative tourism practices and other industry experts with extensive experience and insight related to the awards. The judges are meticulously selected by the event’s organizing committee to ensure they are familiar with the evaluation criteria.
Evaluation criteria strengthened
A training program will be offered for judges to ensure consistency in judging. Judges will get a full briefing on the award program’s mission, significance, design, evaluation criteria and models to help them make informed decisions. Impartial third parties will be invited to monitor voting accuracy in the preliminary rounds and the finals to ensure the integrity of the awards program.
Digital Travel Awards will present two award categories: Innovative Marketing Award and Product Innovation Award. Each category will feature Nomination Awards and a Gold Award. The Nomination Awards will be awarded to 20% of the entries, and awardees will present their cases and answer judges’ questions in a live session at the Travel Daily Conference 2019 on August 27. The judges will select a winner from each category as the Gold Award winner. The Digital Travel Awards Presentation Ceremony will be held during the gala dinner of the Travel Daily Conference on August 28.
Innovative Marketing Award
Digital marketing for tourism has been growing by leaps and bounds, and has become a mainstream marketing tool, due to the industry’s nature of offering compelling, personalized, social and unexpected experiences.
Digital marketing techniques including social media marketing, mobile marketing, video marketing and KOL marketing are applicable throughout the entire process of delivering tourism marketing, from online-offline integration to user acquisition, personalized marketing, repeat bookings promotion and user experience improvement.
The Innovative Marketing Award will select excellent application cases which demonstrate outstanding digital marketing strategies, marketing techniques, innovative ideas, conversion and integrating synergies by leveraging digital marketing technologies in the past year.
OTAs, hotels, airlines, destinations and attractions, cruises and rental car companies are welcome to submit their entries.
The entry should have involved one or more of the marketing methods stated below:
Social media marketing, search engine marketing, mobile marketing (WeChat and Weibo), video marketing, KOL marketing, content marketing, direct marketing (email blast, SMS etc.), programmed ads etc.
The entry should have adopted analytics or optimization methods stated below:
Content management, Website analytics, data analysis, social media insights, social sentiment tracking.
Background, objectives and challenges: 20%
Judges will evaluate each entry based on how the solution tackles special goals and challenges in the given business environment. The entry, whether it is a tailored solution or a general application, should have clear objectives and demonstrate how challenges are rationally and systematically defined against a specific background before implementation. Business background, objectives and challenges are key determinants of how meaningful an entry is.
Creativity and Strategy: 30%
Creativity and strategy are the theoretical bases for the success of a solution, and they must answer the objectives and challenges. Creativity should support the objectives and the strategy should tackle stated challenges. Both creativity and strategy should be coherent for a solution to be effective.
The theoretical and practical aspects of a solution should be coherent. Good ideas and strategies must be effectively executed to serve the intended objectives.
The results should deliver on the stated objectives. The entry must demonstrate objectives have been met to show it was a successful case study. Strong and relevant argument will be essential to demonstrate the entry’s effectiveness.
Product Innovation Award
The “Father of Management Consulting” Peter Drucker once said: “Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two – and only two – basic functions: marketing and innovation.”
The Product Innovation Award are designed to identify innovative products that show excellence from conceptualization to product development and business results in the past year.
OTAs, hotels, airlines, destinations and attractions, cruises, car hailing platforms and other companies which provide innovative products for the travel industry that meet the following criteria:
Products are designed based on user needs and provide innovative solutions to tackle pain points;
Products can be a micro-innovation or a disruptive innovation that exhibit new thinking, with optimized product features or experiences to better meet user needs or identify the potential to develop untapped markets;
Products must be ready to launch within a year to optimize and enhance the travel user experience, or to help travel companies improve operational efficiency.
Product Positioning and meeting user needs: 30%
A successful case must answer users’ needs. It is a major criterion to determine how successful a product is.
Product features and applications: 40%
Product positioning is the thinking, and design features and applications are practical interpretations of the product positioning. A workable innovation should have rational functions and applications.
Results demonstrate a product’s success. The measure of a product’s success differ based on where it is at the development stage and the nature of the innovation. The entries for Product Innovation Awards tend to be relatively new in the market. As such, qualitative evaluation will be primarily adopted, and quantitative evaluation of data will be secondary.
Award recognition with public credibility
The organizer has built a professional and impartial evaluation system and invited prestigious judges to ensure the value of Digital Travel Award. The single Gold Award winner selected will represent a model leading industry trends and innovative practice.
High-Level Industry Communication
The Digital Travel Awards is establishing a broad platform of communication beyond just an award. The winner as well as the shortlisted entries will receive advices from professional judges and also be invited to meet with distinguished guests at the TravelDaily Conference and Digital Travel Award Dinner Ceremony on August 28.
In-depth Brand Communication
Shortlisted entries will be announced on TravelDaily’s website, Wechat official account and other channels from August 5 to August 25, 2019. Excellent entries and Gold Award winner will be mentioned in the Digital Travel Award Trend Report which will be released on Dinner Ceremony. TravelDaily will report on entry selection, award ceremony, trend report release with media partners.
We will invite industrial leaders who have made special contributions to the digital transformation or pointed out the direction of development in travel industry. To ensure fair and diversified evaluation, the organizer will launch an openly judge recruitment system.
Preliminary assessment and qualifying rounds. To ensure fair and objective evaluation, the organizing committee and impartial third parties will verify the scores in each round of evaluation.Preliminary Round entries will be subject to online judging. Shortlisted entries will be presented live on stage to the judging panel during the Travel Daily Conference 2019 on August 27.Winners will be determined by judges in a closed-door discussion on the evening of August 27. The judges will make their decisions based on the evaluation criteria and models after in-depth discussions of the live presentations. A Gold Award winner will be named for each category and the winners list will be sealed and kept by the third party notary. The results will be announced at the Travel Daily Conference Dinner on August 28.
A 5-point scoring system will be applied to all award categories. In both the preliminary and final rounds, the highest and the lowest score of each entry will be disregarded, and the average of the remaining scores will be calculated. The total score of each entry is the sum of the score for each criterion multiplied by the weighting of the criterion in the overall evaluation scheme.
Entries must be an original work of the company (or group) that makes the submission, and must not be involved in any intellectual property dispute. The organizing committee is not responsible for any copyright or intellectual property dispute related to any entry. The judging panel of the award program will be concerned with the quality of the submitted work and will not involve in any legal issue related to the work.
The organizing committee reserves the right to disqualify any work in the event of intellectual property disputes. If an awardee’s work is found to have intellectual property rights issues, the organizing committee reserves the right to rescind the award and recover any certificate and trophy related to the award.
The organizer reserves to right to claim compensations from any participant of the award program for any loss due to intellectual property rights dispute in the participant’s entry. Such loss may include but not limited to financial loss, reputation loss, legal fees, indemnity and verification fees. The Organizing Committee reserves the right to reject any work that is deemed offensive to any culture, ethnic groups or moral standards or not in compliance with the requirements of the competition. The organizer has the right to exhibit, publish, promote and store the entries.
Upon submitting an entry, participants agree to the terms and conditions as stated above. The Competition’s Organizing Committee has the right of final interpretation of the rules of the competition.
Data sources of entries
To ensure evaluation integrity, the Organizing Committee recommends that all entries must include accurate description of the sources of data, including:
Third-party data (name of third party is required)
The company's customer-related data, with customers’ expressed permission if applicable
The company's own data
When presenting sensitive data, participants are advised to provide indicative numbers, such as percentages or indexed figures, and avoid disclosing actual figures.
All documentation submitted with the entry will automatically be retained as an asset of the Digital Travel Awards and will not be returned. Upon presenting the entry, you grant the Organizing Committee the consent to replicate, reproduce or display the documentation for educational or promotional purposes.