We’ve already looked at how tech has transformed the travel industry so far but what does the future look like? Here are the up and coming trends set to shape the industry.
Chatbot travel assistants for Expedia have already appeared on Skype and Amazon Echo, aimed at helping customers plan and book their holidays. The technology is still at the experimental stage but expect to see more and more of these chatbots in the future as it advances. By 2020, we could all be booking our vacations via bots.
With the likes of Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear proving popular, virtual reality looks set to stay and its impact on travel could be huge. We’ll soon be able to travel the world through immersive virtual reality experiences, much like we can view streets on GoogleMaps. Some even reckon VR could bring about the rebirth of high street travel agents, with in-store VR headsets enabling customers to walk around hotels and aircraft, encouraging them to book.
Imagine being able to fly across the world without actually carrying your passport. If cloud passports take off, that could be a reality. They would carry personal info like biometric data and digital photos in the cloud, limiting the need to carry physical passports. Plus, it would also reduce the number of lost or stolen passports.
Some of us are already used to checking in our own luggage at airports but, where automation is concerned, that’s just the start. In 2015, the first robot-staffed hotel opened in Japan, and 1000 more are expected to be built worldwide in the future. Even standard hotel chains are building apps to serve your every need. One day, we might not have to interact with staff at all.
Big data is growing in significance, especially when it comes to personalisation. Using data gathered from user behaviours, preferences, previous interactions and social media platforms, hotels can store your preferences, airlines can analyse patterns and travel agents can tailor offers. If used right, travel companies can offer a more personalised service, which should see better customer retention and higher sales.