by Travel Weekly Group editor-in-chief Lucy Huxley

I loved the description this week of travel as being the ‘ultimate selfie’.

Channel Four’s Paul Mason made the comment at Travel Weekly Group’s Travolution Summit on Monday.

The very next day selfie entered the Oxford Dictionary as its 2013 word of the year. We’re nothing if not ‘on-trend’ here at Travel Weekly.

The point Paul was making was that the modern generation of under-35’s – the ‘white-wire brigade’, as he called them, due to their Apple earphones – will continue to place a high value on travel.

I totally agree with his view and observation that people increasingly define themselves on the basis of where they choose to visit, and post those selfies of themselves enjoying, on social networks.

What Travolution’s Summit heard a great deal about on Monday was how successful travel firms will start making much better use of the data they have about their customers.

The selfie is just one of the many valuable sources of insight into customers’ likes and preferences that proliferate on the internet today and are available to exploit.

But travel companies stand accused of being poor at collecting, and more importantly making sense of, the data they have access to on potential or existing customers. Until now, maybe.

As you will read in this week’s Travel Weekly, Carnival UK is one firm saying it has grasped the nettle setting up a new Insights Team which will help define its entire marketing strategy.

It’s a step in the right direction and one it’s high time the sector at large takes to secure its relevance to the selfie generation.