The ongoing trend is bending more towards offering an immersive experience to the service-seekers, courtesy of the Virtual and Augmented Reality Technology. Travel and tourism industry has not steered away from its influence for long, Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo is a standing example of the same.
But modern technology has more to offer than giving a close to real-life experience to the travellers. In fact, it is all about simplifying the entire travelling experience of the visitors.
The upsurge of modern technology has not only touched how we plan our vacations but how we carry on with our day-to-day lives. Standing in the 21st century, we simply cannot undermine the monumental influence of modern technology and how it continues to shape the way we travel, we work, and we take care of our basic needs. And, supporting these sentences is the data provided by Google Travel Study, which states that 74% of travellers plan their trips availing the Internet service.
Yes! For basic to complex information, our source is none other than Google – ‘We Google it’. The tech-savvy generation is more bend on getting their job done using the World Wide Web and their smartphones. If the entire world is shifting its base online and embracing technology with open arms, then it will be unjustified for the travel industry to stay away from modern influence. They have to grow and they did grow.
To quote Eurecat culture and tourism specialist, Xavier Cubeles,
The travel industry is in the midst of a deep transformation” where “the Internet and mobile have changed the way people plan and experience their trips and have had an impact on the most highly-demanded professional profiles and the way destinations promote themselves.
Thanks to many important breakthroughs in modern technology and Internet connectivity, planning a vacation and chalking out travel itineraries have never been this easy before.
The service sector has made a paradigm shift in recent times due to the myriad inventions made in the technological sphere. Let’s explore the different forces of change in modern technology which are gradually revolutionizing the world of the wanderers.
Five driving forces of change in the travel and tourism ecosystem
1. Mobile Technology
This is undoubtedly the most dominant factor in bringing a rapid change in the lives of many. Today, smartphones have become our sole guide in locating the best restaurant near us, our personal tour guide, and our own miniature gateway to the outside world.
In the UK itself, smartphone user penetration is at 75.4% in the year 2019 and is projected to reach 79.7% by the year 2022. And, travel mobile apps are the seventh most downloaded in the application category. Nearly 60% of smartphone owners use travel apps to plan their vacations.
The above figures give a rough idea about the extent to which mobile technology has spread its wings in the tourism industry and the rest of the world.
Can you imagine a single waking hour without your mobile phone? Then how can you imagine planning your dream travel destination and making reservations without the aid of the same device?
That is why we offer services like My Hub Pro, your own online booking engine for Flights, Hotels and Transfers. It helps your clients to plan & book their whole trip on a single platform. You can check the live demo here.
2. Interactive and Immersive Technology
SITA, the leading IT provider to the air transport industry, published a report titled, ‘2025: Air Travel for a Digital Age’, revealing that by 2025, approximately 68% of all passengers will be digitally more advanced than they are at present.
Preparing for a bright future is one of the primary objectives of most service-based companies. Failure to relate to the changing times may prove to be the end of the journey for most. Hence, it is imperative for ventures to change according to the changing times.
The recent trends show a gradual inclination towards interactive technology, especially when talks about Augmented and Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things are doing their rounds everywhere.
Hotels and travel programs are leveraging these technologies greatly to their benefit, in an attempt to align their services to that of their customers’ expectations.
In fact, you may be surprised to learn that 63% of customers prefer communicating with a travel site or hotel using the online chatbot platform. Also, 64% of millennials prefer visiting a hotel with AR/VR technology or booking a hotel after experiencing the inside ambience using the same AR/VR.
Big brands like Hilton and Shangri-La hotels have been incorporating technologies like Samsung Gear VR Headsets to enable customers to explore and experience nearby places of interests without physically visiting them.
And, how can we forget the fact that hotels and many travel brands are using AI chatbots to interact with the customers for reservations and augmenting their satisfaction by addressing bulk guests’ requests single-handedly? Or, hotels offering smart room technologies using the Internet of Things concept?
Do you know the robotics market is projected to be worth nearly $500 billion globally by the year 2025? These facts imply the world is preparing for the future already.
Where is your travel brand heading?
3. Big Data
Now data is flying everywhere, it depends upon how you utilize them to your benefit.
Big Data has proved its worth in rendering personalized services to the customers, especially in the retail industry. Despite the fact that Big Data is yet to prove its worth in the travel industry, there are certain tourism companies and hotel chains like Melia Hotel chain who are using their guests’ shared information to figure out their best marketing strategies.
4. Payment Gateways
The travel and tourism industry is gradually embracing the modern and innovative technology, much to the relief of the Millennials and Gen Zs users. They prefer services which can be executed using their smartphones within seconds. There are certain travel brands who have their payment gateways that accept payments and issue refunds online. Others collaborate with trustable e-wallets such as PayPal, Mobiwik, and Paytm for the same purpose.
Now making hotel reservations, booking flights, and arranging other itineraries online become so easy, courtesy the trustable payment gateways.
5. Blockchain Technology
Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies were the centre of many debates and discussions in 2017. Despite the fact that cryptocurrencies have failed to make its mark in certain countries like India, the blockchain technology has many untold benefits.
Travel and tourism industry around the world may have failed to fully exploit its plethora of opportunities wherein some still believe it is strictly related to financial services. But, let me tell you that the very nature of this technology that allows for a secured, decentralized storage for information sharing, has the capability to restore trust by minimizing friction and corruption.
Observing travel security, facilitating secure and seamless cross-border travel are areas where this technology can really bring a difference in the travel ecosystem.
But, we have to wait a while before this technology gets fully recognized across sectors.
Is your travel brand future-ready?
Let’s have a look into what Ian Yeoman, professor of tourism, Victoria University of Wellington, has to say to the Wired Magazine when questioned about the future of travel and tourism.
He said that
In Tokyo and Seoul, 30 per cent of bookings are on the day of arrival through the mobile phone. We point our phone at a hotel, use AR to view information and book on Expedia. Next is soft singularity – internet contact lenses or auto-translation software will bring rapid change?
The future is truly here or so the mentioned facts and figures say about the travel industry. Now it is up to you whether or not you are willing to ride the changing tide or stay behind in the competition.
Travel companies like MakeMyTrip has adapted disruptive technology to come out as a winner, where is your travel brand heading to?