Dawn is breaking on 2024, and the travel industry is witnessing significant shifts. As usual, specialists discuss their favourite destinations; analysts look at online search trends and booking numbers. That it happens every year makes it no less important. International travel is yet to reach its pre-pandemic levels but recovery is strong. 2024 could be the year when previous volumes are met or even surpassed.
Travel Trends to Watch in 2024
Interest in solo travel is surging, with Europe attracting visitors for events like the Paris 2024 Olympics and then beyond. The concept of “pay-cations”, where professionals work remotely while traveling, is well established. Cruises remain important, and voyages further afield are increasingly popular – Asia is a growing cruise destination, as is South Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands, and not forgetting the Arctic.
Commentaries reflect and predict opportunities throughout the sector. But beyond the thrill of exotic destinations lies a hidden need for convenient and flexible financial services.
Ready to Respond to Demand?
Vacations come with layers of finance. The initial bookings and insurance are probably paid for via credit or debit cards. Then there’s clothing and maybe a new suitcase or backpack. And then smaller items like sunscreen.
It’s easy to forget foreign currency – travel money – and it’s worth remembering not every expense can be put on a card. Many leave it until arrival, or the departure airport. That’s OK, but only at a cost. It’s almost always cheaper and more convenient to buy travel money before you go, especially attractive for travelers visiting multiple destinations.
Many consumers know this, and will look for the best deal around. The question is, does their credit union or bank provide this service in an easy to use way? Can customers and CU members do this in their smartphones?
Digital Transformation: A Strategic Imperative for Credit Unions
Evolving demands makes it essential for credit unions to embrace digital transformation. Moving from legacy systems to agile digital platforms is critical in meeting the varied demands of modern travelers. This shift is more than a technological upgrade; it’s a strategic move to provide personalized, efficient, and secure services – appealing and attractive to members, more efficient and cost effective for credit unions.
What’s not always appreciated, however, is that digital transformation does not automatically require the total removal of existing systems, especially if their basic functionality is still good. The advantage of digital services is that when the right ones are selected they can simply plug in, for back-office functions as well as POS.
Geared Up for Global Getaways – with Money 4 Travel
This is where your credit union steps in. By embracing digital services like Money 4 Travel, your members can pre-purchase their foreign currency online, at competitive rates, then pick it up at their chosen branch. No more airport kiosks or predatory exchange rates. Just seamless convenience and peace of mind, adding value to your member relationships and fostering trust.
Investing in digital foreign exchange services like Money 4 Travel isn’t only about meeting immediate demand. It’s about positioning your organization for the future. As expectations evolve, your commitment to innovative, member-centric solutions will differentiate you from traditional banks. You’ll build trust, attract tech-savvy travelers, and cement your place as a financial partner for life’s adventures, big and small. Is your credit union ready to set sail with its members on this journey of growth and discovery?
By Declan Morton, staff writer at Money 4 Travel and Essiell Ltd.
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