The travel and tourism industry is full of technology change-makers and innovators. The industry has seen incredible growth over the past decade, in part, thanks to new technologies that allow organizations to increase efficiency and surpass customer expectations.
While some new technology may be a fad, with some companies jumping on-board without considering the benefits, other technology can provide a deep understanding of customers, new ways to differentiate in a crowded market, and vast improvements to the customer experience.
Here are our top picks for the technology trends that are going to have the most impact on the travel industry in upcoming years.
#1. Drone Photography
Drone photography and videography has been popular for several years, and is now at a critical point. Drone technology has advanced to where it is more affordable and widespread than it’s ever been. For travel & tourism businesses, this means huge opportunities to showcase products and services in a whole new way.
For Hotels and B&B’s, drone photography and videography allows potential guests to see your property fully and fall in love with the landscape and neighbourhood. Adventure Tourism organizations also have a huge opportunity to show they tours and activities from the sky, allowing potential customers to closely follow the action.
If you aren’t using drone photography to promote your business, you will soon be falling behind.
#2. Internet of Things (IoT)
Yes it’s true, we’ve been hearing about the IoT for decades, but travel industry leaders are likely to see IoT really start to take off, particularly in hospitality.
In-room tablets used by Peninsula Hotels to help guests order room service or check out of their rooms, smart devices and wearable technologies like the wristbands used by cruise giant Carnival Corp, are seeing a huge surge across the industry.
Not only are these technologies improving the customer experience, they are also helping companies increase efficiency and save time. This inevitably leads to increased profits down the line.
#3. Mobile Engagement
Mobile engagement is certainly not a new concept, and all travel and tourism leaders must be well-versed on the importance of mobile for reaching customers. Fully mobile websites and booking platforms, a presence on mobile-only social networks such as Instagram, and even mobile apps, have become part of the norm.
Currently picking up steam in the mobile ecosystem is the way that mobile can be used and integrated.
Advances in technology are making mobile payments quicker and easier, as well multi-channel integrations that track customers across all of their devices, ensuring a seamless transition.
Real-time text message notifications allow organizations to automatically provide important and timely updates.
#4. Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR and VR)
Huge leaps in augmented and virtual reality technology has poised the travel and tourism industry to take advantage of this huge trend. The use cases are endless and span from marketing all the way up to integrating VR itself as an experience.
Being able to show a potential guest the exact room they will be staying at, or the spaciousness of the cabins in an airline, is a marketing department's dream. Other organizations have taken VR another step further.
For example, at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, virtual reality has created an immersive experience, allowing visitors to see the site as it once was, as well as offer a virtual tour of the USS Arizona Memorial. When live tours are not available due to weather concerns, visitors can still experience the memorial in VR.
#5. Wifi Connectivity
Providing wifi connectivity is quickly becoming a top priority for travel and tourism organizations that have yet to do so. Many travellers may not have access to cellular networks while travelling or may not want to pay large data roaming fees, so providing wifi access enables them to connect to the internet. Not only does this benefit your customer it also enables them to interact with social media and spread the word about your business. Furthermore widespread wifi also allows you to leverage the network as well to improve security and team communication.How important is technology in the travel and tourism industry? Elena Mogoş, Associate Analyst for Digital Travel & Tourism at GlobalData, comments:
“Travel still revolves around meaningful human interactions. However, to be successful, companies need to create a balance between the technological innovations and the human element. Improving the customer experience must always be on the back of travel and tourism companies’ minds when investing in technology.”
Is your organization is the process of investing in new technology? Check out JSF Travel & Tourism's BIG DATA & BUSINESS ANALYTICS IN THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY Program.