As travel and hospitality companies navigate the evolving landscape, they must embrace innovation across various fronts. A recent study by HFS Research, in partnership with WNS, involving 315 global leaders, establishes how businesses are strategically investing in digitalization, organizational integration and collaborative partnerships to drive growth and sustainability.

The Different Stages of Transformation

Transformation in the travel and hospitality sector unfolds through progressive stages. Initially, companies focus on laying the groundwork for digitalization, emphasizing efficiency and cost containment. Subsequently, efforts pivot toward breaking down organizational silos and fostering integration across departments. Finally, firms embark on collaborative ventures, engaging with external partners to drive innovation and unlock new sources of value.

Figure 1: Different Stages of Organizational Transformation

Source: HFS Research, 2024

Analysis reveals a concerted effort among travel and hospitality firms to invest across all stages of transformation. While the emphasis currently lies on functional digitalization, there is a noticeable shift toward fostering collaborative partnerships. This underscores the industry's recognition of the pivotal role of collaboration in driving sustained growth and innovation.

“Travel and hospitality firms are optimistic that they will be able to enhance their focus from functional transformation to a more powerful ecosystem-driven strategy over the next two years.”

Source: HFS Research, 2024

The Role of Strategic Partnerships

Partnerships emerge as a cornerstone of transformative efforts within the industry. By strategically engaging with external partners, companies gain access to specialized expertise and advanced technologies without requiring extensive in-house development. This collaborative approach facilitates innovation and accelerates the pace of transformation, positioning firms for long-term success in a dynamic marketplace.

40 percent of travel and hospitality enterprises are focused primarily on a ‘partner’ strategy to enhance their digital presence.

Source: HFS Research, 2024

Sustainability is a pressing priority for travel and hospitality firms, driven by regulatory requirements and a growing commitment to environmental stewardship. Leveraging collaborative partnerships, enterprises work with service providers to develop robust sustainability strategies and practices. Consulting and technology capabilities are central in this endeavor, enabling firms to align their operations with broader sustainability goals.

In a landscape defined by change and uncertainty, the journey toward transformation is both complex and continuous. By investing in digitalization, integration and collaborative partnerships, travel and hospitality firms can unlock new opportunities for growth and sustainability.

Read the full report by HFS Research, in partnership with WNS, for exclusive insights on how travel and hospitality firms are driving innovation and sustainability.

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