Some technology trends — such as the ability to use Wi-Fi while flying or check-in for a trip with an electronic boarding pass — forever changed how people visit destinations. There are other trends set to disrupt the travel industry in similar ways. Here’s a look at several of them.
1. Using Mobile Apps Before and During Travel
Unlike in past generations, people rarely make appointments at travel agencies, read physical hotel directories or visit libraries to learn about the places they want to go. Instead, they turn to their mobile devices to get informed or confirm bookings, and that’s a trend that shows no signs of slowing down.
The data backs it up. 40 percent of travelers use a smartphone to plan and book trips. On average, they use 14 various apps while traveling.
However, Croucher also clarified that people still like to talk with travel brands outside of dedicated apps. They like to communicate with representatives through social media and messaging platforms.
2. Social Media Motivating the Trip-Planning Process
Anyone who spends more than a minute on a top social media site knows it’s a place where people typically spread the word that they’re on a fun trip and want all their friends to know. However, Facebook recently unveiled an advertising optimization strategy called Trip Consideration for users in the early stages of travel planning. The company suggests the target audience for an associated campaign be at least seven million users for best results. Also, travel providers can specify the images people see for each ad. That allows them to test various options and see which ones are most motivating to consumers getting ready to go globetrotting.
Because social media is so integrated into daily life, it’s not surprising it’ll likely play a role in helping people decide where to go — instead of just informing friends they’ve already arrived at destinations.
3. The IoT
The Internet of Things (IoT) takes device capabilities to new heights by increasing connectivity and communications. The IoT will be a considerable travel industry disruptor in several possible ways. For example, expect to see it incorporated into airports to make travel more pleasant and up to date. It could help handlers keep track of baggage and alert travelers to sales in duty-free shops or meal specials at terminal restaurants. Planning a trip to the Netherlands that includes train travel? You might experience the IoT at a station. The Dutch company Nederlandse Spoorwegen uses intelligent sensors to track how many people move through each station and attempt to reduce slowdowns resulting from too much pedestrian traffic.
Hotel brands are evaluating potential uses for the IoT too. Some want guests to be able to control things in their rooms with apps on their smartphones.
4. Digital Concierge Services
Most travelers are accustomed to picking up the phones in their hotel rooms to get clarification or advice, but before long, people might just use messenger apps on their phones to contact hotel front desks. 39 percent of people said they’d be comfortable getting in touch with the front desk or concierge staff members that way.
Two Roads Hospitality introduced this kind of text messaging for guests in 2015. The method allowed hotel employees to find out about issues that would otherwise remain unknown. Furthermore, over 90 percent of guests opted to use the messaging platform.
5. Voice-Activated Technologies
Voice-activated assistants — such as Alexa and Siri — help people discover information without having to type. Travel is among the industries that were significantly changed by such technology, and the versatility it offers is heavily responsible for why that’s the case. For example, people could potentially check flight statuses by speaking or use translation features on a voice-activated speaker to figure out how to say short phrases that help them inquire about available services in the international destinations they want to visit.
Individuals can use smart speakers to get details about opening hours of restaurants or book taxis without lifting a finger. So, we can only guess about and excitedly anticipate, the continued disruptions smart speakers will cause for the travel industry in the coming months and years.
Use New Tech on Your Next Trip
These are some of the exciting technologies that promise to reshape how you travel. Whether you just love to visit new places as often as possible or are someone who works in the tourism industry, it won’t be long before you begin noticing these technologies more than ever.