Nowadays, everything is online. You can get food delivered from online. You can order your groceries online. You can shop for clothes online. You see where I’m going with this? Everything is online. And the travel industry is not exempt from that statement. In fact, according to Adobe Digital Insights, “41% of the business and 60% of leisure travel arrangement are nowadays made online”. With that being said, the travel industry is constantly evolving with the advancement of technology. Travel industries experts are taking their strategies to the next level with “the most progressive technologies, which are coming out to play in the field of eTravel services in 2019”. Listed below are those top ten trends from medium.com:
1. Personalization – the biggest priority among the modern travel industry trends
People now expect more a personalized touch to their travel plans. They want to have unique experiences that only they can have whether it be for work or for pleasure. Some brands like Delta have already started embracing this concept of personalization. Delta Flights has begun to focus on their customers and their specific accounts. They’ve tailored their messaging to each individual corporate client especially those with their exclusive benefits. This concept has reach so far as to the flight attendants through personalized services to said corporate clients. Delta is also going to have personalized websites for their corporate customers.
While all this personalization makes the customer feel great, there is the challenge of overstepping one’s boundaries. Making messages more personal by adding the customer’s name isn’t enough. Companies have to do a ton to suit their customers’ needs. “Personalization requires sophistication, enthusiasm, and technological solutions on part of the service provider, who aims to keep up with the most recent travel trends.”
2. Recognition Technology – a great potential for the travel industry
Recognition technology includes: “fingerprint, facial recognition, retina scanning, or other biometric identification methods”. I know that your cell phone could do these things, but have you ever thought about this technology being used for travel? This technology could collect data and help identify travelers through their behaviors and personality. This information would help technologies with the personalization aspect as well as reward them with member-exclusive benefits and/or services.
While this is cool, it really is important to mention that this technology can be used for security reasons. The government could crack down on travelers trying to escape the country and/or help staff track down these “bad guys” and be prepared to do what’s necessary. Another cool aspect of recognition technology is that it decreases the authorization time for payment processes.
3. Robots – helpful machines in the sphere of tourism and hospitality
Robots are taking over the world! Okay, not really. BUT, they are helping with “various forms and perform multiple operations nowadays, from the physical ones to those requiring cognitive functions”. The travel industry is getting a leg up on using robotic technologies. These technologies have increased due to customer demand. Technology now has surpassed the self-checkout lanes at Target and have motivated travel agencies and hotels to use robots in their experiences. Below is a video of the world’s first robot-staffed hotel.
Hotels are really capitalizing on these robots. They can do what hotel employees were trained to do: “meet and greet visitors, realize check-in and check-out procedures, deliver luggage to the rooms, show the guests around, perform room and concierge services, provide information assistance and many other functions”. Robots are becoming more and more popular especially because they have less room for error and have the ability to work without requesting holidays, breaks, and/or salaries. The only challenge with this trend is that there is a lack of emotion. Nothing can replace human touch. Nothing can also replace how expensive the upkeep for these robots are.
4. Online booking – the service experiencing constant growth
Booking online is quick and easy – “57% of all reservations in the sphere of travelling is made online, whether it’s accommodations, flights, tours or other journey-related activities”. Online booking also gives customers a chance to see recommendations, reviews, and deals to see which better fits their needs and wants. Booking online can apply to both travel reservations such as tours and hotels. In essence, booking online gives you endless opportunities at your fingertips. It not only helps you make a decision, but also helps the companies with consumer behavior and research data.
5. Mobile Applications – the digital trend easiest to implement
In this day and age, it’s hard to not have your cellphone on you at all times. Even online booking can be done through your cellphone. “This digital trend is the easiest to implement into the travel industry of the contemporaneity”. Mobile apps, as mentioned before, not only help with online booking but even more specific tasks and activities such as controlling the temperature of your room and/or the appliances in it. Mobile apps can also help with activities to do while on travel by using the customer’s location and preferences.
6. Voice technology a digital novelty disrupting the travel and hospitality sector
This sentence from the article is just too good to not include: “The human voice is the best and most effective means of communication and people want more convenience nowadays, whether it is connected with getting some information, making a reservation or adjusting something in your hotel room.” Voice recognition technology is getting widely more popular. Hotels have been using this as an advantage because it helps their guests feel more comfortable during their stay. It helps meet the needs for the guest’s preferences and the hotel with information on the customer. This trend like many of the previous is closely linked to personalization, mobile apps, and much more throughout the travel industry.
7. Chatbots and Artificial Intelligence — the top 2019 digital trends in the travel industry
Artificial intelligence is the most helpful with chatbots in terms of customer support. According to Forbes.com, “it’s estimated that 40% of large business brands will adopt the technology by 2020 and travel industry companies belong here as well”. Chatbots and artificial intelligence help sort through data and information to give accurate and quick responses to problems and/or questions. AI will also gather that information and better the company’s performance. “The more it works, the smarter it is.”
8. Augmented and Virtual Reality – mainstream consumer technologies of the present
Augmented reality has also become more and more popular these days. Ever heard of Pokémon Go? It’s similar to that! The main reason for this technology, especially in travel and tourism, is that it’s cheap, both for developers and users. Again, the mobile apps, as mentioned above, help make it even easier! As long as there is an internet connection, then a traveler can find out more about where they are and see the history behind it all! “Getting information on the go allows the travel industry professionals to enhance their clients’ experience”.
9. The Internet of Things – smart objects able to interact
IoT – the Internet of Things – allows users to connect to “every-day smart devices to communicate through the Internet and offers wide opportunities along with multiple benefits for the travel-related activities”. I mentioned this previously in this post, but you can go so far as to controlling the temperature in your hotel room. This helps with customers’ preferences and smart energy saving options. Hotels aren’t the only ones who use this, but airports as well. “Special sensors can be installed on baggage items for the traveler to follow the luggage location. Lufthansa has, by the way, already launched such an app for its fliers.” IoT can help travelers be in control with the access to information and data through their phones to help cater the experience to them.
10. Blockchain – the groundbreaking tech trend of the future travels
Blockchain has the biggest room for potential and growth in the travel industry. If you google the word blockchain the definition is as follows: ” a system in which a record of transactions made in bitcoin or another cryptocurrency are maintained across several computers that are linked in a peer-to-peer network”. What people and especially travel industries care the most about is the “data storage and secure, traceable, and transparent information”. This important tech trend helps tremendously with the travel industry because it deals with data from multiple companies (i.e. hotels, airlines, and travel agencies). Information between these entities is always secure and transferred safely. If technology keeps evolving, then it won’t be long now until blockchain completely takes over and travelling experiences will be a one-and-done process.
Technology is booming. With these top tech trends, travel industry leaders will be able to give travelers an experience they’ll never forget in a way that’s easy, helpful, and made just for them.