Travel technology – Going places in 2018!
JRR Tolkien said, “To travel is to live”. But to live it to the fullest, one needs best travel experiences and services.
The continuous evolution of travel technology has increased the expectations of the travelers. They automatically get pulled towards the service providers that give better customer service and ease of accessibility. And all of this has now become easier with the world turning digital. In 2016, 57% of US travel bookings were done online. Also, the digital sales revenue of the travel industry is predicted to touch $818 billion by the year 2020!
Today, travelers want more personalized experience with top-notch services. This is where travel technology is helping companies to deliver the desired result. For example, Amsterdam Airport launched customer service bots for baggage handling. These bots help the passengers with their luggage and check-in. And this is just the beginning of what’s in store for the future. These technologies are going to build a base for seamless traveling experience and sustainable business. Therefore to stay competitive, service providers need to cope with the disruptive, emerging technologies and evolve with them.
Here are some of the technologies which are at the top of the industry right now:
- Blockchain: By far, we know blockchain as the technology underpinning bitcoins. But this public ledger can also be used to track the luggage of passengers at the airports. The idea was proposed by Accenture and a travel-centric IT company, Amadues. It can also be used as the underlying technology for wearables which can be used to identify luggage.
- Artificial Intelligence: AI is one of the top emerging technologies in the travel industry. With customer service bots, airports are providing a new experience to the travelers. Dusseldorf airport has implemented AI in car parking management. Another change that AI is going to bring in the future is automating customer service to a large extent. By 2020, most of the service providers will use chatbots to give human-like customer service. These chatbots will most likely be adopted by hotels and online travel portals. AI may seem like an investment, but in long-term, it provides 24*7 service and 100% guest satisfaction.
- Machine Learning: Machine learning has evolved dramatically over the past decade. It has given the world concepts like self-driven cars and speech recognition. With machine learning, the customer experience becomes more personalized. For example, imagine looking for a hotel in a particular country. Now based on the searched data, the machine is going to formulate a more accurate list of hotels with dynamic pricing. This way, along with a personalized experience, travelers get the best pricing too.
- Facial recognition: Facial recognition is more than just a sci-fi movie feature now. Airports are adapting facial recognition at check-ins to surpass security issues. US-based Delta Airlines is one of the first players in the industry to use this technology at airports. Once the facial scan is done, all the details of the passengers are recorded with the airlines.
- Analytics: Analytics is basically transforming the travel industry as a whole. It can efficiently manage aspects of business like customer experience, pricing strategy, marketing and sales optimization and better services. Service providers use predictive algorithms to analyze data and provide better recommendations to the traveler. Analytics is also useful to perform sentiment analysis on social media. With this, service providers can understand the areas where they lag in their services.
- Voice Assistants: Like many other industries, voice assistants are making their way through the travel industry too. To enhance the visiting guest experience, hotels are turning to voice assistants. Best Western hotel is using a customized version of Amazon Alexa to greet guests as they enter the room (by the way, she answers all your questions too!). It also asks them about their music preference or requirements.
Even though the current trends in the travel industry are booming with new tech trends, the future of travel technology seems far more interesting. Service providers are constantly working to make the user experience better and innovative. Experiments are being conducted with technologies like virtual reality to allow travelers to have a virtual tour of the city before landing there. Likewise, Boeing is also planning to test self-driven planes. Whether these experiments will be fruitful or not is still a question. But one thing is for sure, that they will definitely change the face of the travel industry.
Kaara has good experience of working in the travel, hospitality and leisure verticals in developing customer-centric modern applications including engaging, intuitive apps, bots and custom development of platforms/systems tailored towards the industry.
Get in touch for a quick chat to learn more about our travel technology services!