With over two million passengers every day flying in and out of U.S. airports, people are travelling more today than they did in the past. However, these travelers are more demanding, and they want things done quickly, with personalization, authenticity, seamlessly and securely. For the travel industry to fulfill these high expectations, it needs to rely on technology.
Technology is already transforming how you work, live, behave, and it will continue doing so for a long time. Technology has changed how you review, search, choose and experience travel, especially in light of the shift to mobile and the digital boarding pass. Below are four major technological trends in travel that are transforming the industry.
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)
In reality, AR and VR have already entered the realm of travel, and the trend is set to grow due to all the possibilities it offers. More travel companies are using it to show travelers cabins on cruise ships or transport them, for a couple of seconds, to the Great Wall of China. With 3D, 360-degree content, hotels can showcase a brand or an experience, increasing trust and product authenticity.
Today, you can “teleport” yourself to even the remotest corners of the world without taking a single step away from your couch. This is what you are offered whenever you use Everest’s VR app, and you can see the top of the world without climbing the mountain. Maybe, you would rather cross the Grand Canyon in a kayak and take in the sights and sounds of world-famous landmarks!
Everyone is already familiar with virtual assistants, Alexa and Siri, who meet all your needs. These assistants can tell what the weather is like in your city, turn on the radio, open your emails, and much more!
Hotels are enlisting this help using virtual assistants specifically designed for the travel environment. A case in point is the Watson Assistant, IBM’s AI-powered virtual assistant for a personalized, interactive customer experience.
With this open technology, firms can now employ and adapt their requirements to suit customer preferences. Instead of the virtual assistant having the label “Watson,” it’s called whichever name the hotel deems best.
There’s talk about Big Data, but it’s yet to show all the opportunities it has for the travel industry. Notwithstanding, many players in the industry are already using it.
For instance, a hotel can use all manner of information, including Apache access log data, to figure out the best targets for their marketing campaigns. The analysis includes amount spent, reason for a trip, country of origin and crosschecking the information against public data for better customer profiling. An analysis of this data results in better segmentation for campaigns to increase their efficacy while optimizing the hotel’s investment.
Voice technology is another novelty that’s just beginning to disrupt the travel industry. Instead of typing in their search requirements, more customers are option for voice interactions. Moreover, more hotels are experimenting with voice-activated devices like Kimpton Alexis Hotel, Westin Buffalo and Marriott International.
In the End…
With the rise in automation, travel Do It Yourself (DIY) has rapidly changed to Done For You (DFY) thanks to technology. Artificial intelligence advances have made it possible for automation to cross over physical tasks. AI is automating your mental tasks too.
The automation started in the back end of travel from reservation to inventory and transactions to staffing, and it’s not about to stop there. Through Big Data, voice technology, virtual assistants and virtual reality, hotels are changing the face of travel for better interaction with customers and other industry players.