According to ADI (Adobe Digital Insights) travel industry market research — 41% of business and 60% of leisure travel arrangements are nowadays made online. Thus the present-day global traveling industry faces multiple challenges and lays the professionals of the sector under the necessity to meet customers’ needs not only in person but also on the web remaining in line with the evolving new technology facets in travel and tourism as well as customer experience trends. To gain an edge over your competitors as a travel industry expert you should adjust your approach, stay in line with travel tech trends and provide your clients with a perfect and unique traveling experience.
Check below the list of the most progressive technologies, which are coming out to play in the field of eTravel services in 2019. It will help you go with the tides of the latest industry tendencies and navigate freely amid the intricacies of the present-day digital travel ecosystem.
1. Personalization — the biggest priority among the modern travel industry trends
To date, almost 90% of travelers worldwide admit that standard traveling process is not enough any longer. A personalized approach is now viewed more as an expectation than something extraordinary. People value the unique experience they can get, while on the go, no matter if it’s a holiday or a business trip. In fact, personalization has become the first priority among the modern trends in travel and tourism industry.
Some progressive brands have already started to introduce customized offerings and personalized services to their clients.
Delta Flights, for instance, has already introduced account-specific messaging with corporate clients. It concerns their exclusive benefits. The flight attendants of Delta have recently got a Guest Service Tool. The device allows them to provide personalized services to corporate clients, including recognition, assistance, and even down-line flight and gate information.
More than that, the company is going to launch personalized sites for corporate customers. They will grant the travelers with account-specific access to all the Airline’s special offers for the most loyal clients.
To stand out in the modern market of travel services, one should be personal in the attitude to the customers, and add inherent value to what he offers to them. However, there is a challenge in capturing the necessary data and not to violate the principles of personal privacy. More than that, personalization requires sophistication, enthusiasm and technological solutions on part of the service provider, who aims to keep up with the most recent travel trends.
In case you are determined to offer your clients the most cutting-edge service, you should rely on expert tech solutions. Stfalcon is the very company, who has enough experience and expertise in the field of digital novelties for the traveling sphere.
2. Recognition Technology — a great potential for the travel industry
The high-tech technology of recognition includes fingerprint, facial recognition, retina scanning or other biometric identification methods. The technology has been rolled out into the market some time ago and has already been deployed in a number of fields, primarily with the authentication, security or law enforcement aims.
The recognition technology, face recognition, in particular, has great potential for the industry of travel. The main spheres of the technology application are collecting data and identifying the personality of a traveler. It will allow the travel business stuff provide their clients with personalized services, reward them for being regular customers and grant them access to the associated services. It may be a gym or a pool, in a hotel, a special business lounge access from an airline, whatever.
Another essential purpose of the recognition technology is security. Face identification of the travelers with bad reputation can help the staff stay alert and be prepared to take measures whatever required.
Finally, the technology is particularly interesting for its possibility to takeout friction from lots of payment processes. It can make authorization quick and hassle-free. At the same time, it can automatically take into consideration all the bonuses, loyalty schemes or discount codes of the particular client.
3. Robots — helpful machines in the sphere of tourism and hospitality
Robotic technology allows machines to take various forms and perform multiple operations nowadays, from the physical ones to those requiring cognitive functions.
Travel industry is actively introducing robotic technologies at present. It happens due to the changes in tourists’ habits. The travelers demonstrate increasing demand for the self-service opportunities. It motivates hotels, travel agencies and other related businesses use artificially intelligent robots extensively in their activity.
The airports can use them to detect hidden weapons and some other forbidden items, for instance. You can meet intelligent luggage cases already, which follow their masters or communicate with a robot assisting a travel agent. It will entertain you and gather some important info on your travel preferences.
However, the best ground for robot application is hotel industry. Here they can meet and greet the visitors, realize check-in and check-out procedures, deliver luggage to the rooms, show the guests around, perform room and concierge services, provide informational assistance and have many other functions.
Without any doubts, robots have certain advantages over human workers, like greater consistency, accuracy, and ability to work 24/7/365 without holidays, breaks and salary. Still, there are cases, when they may fail being unable to adapt to unanticipated situations, lack sympathy or emotions. Besides, one should not forget about their high initial and maintenance costs.
4. Online booking — the service experiencing constant growth
In 2018 the revenue in the segment of online booking in traveling exceeds 92.5 million USD. The experts predict the expanding of the digital travel space and consequently its turnaround up to 11,5 trillion in the following decade.
Already today above 57% of all reservations in the sphere of traveling is made online, whether it’s accommodations, flights, tours or other journey-related activities. The travelers have now a perfect opportunity to review a great variety of deals on the web and choose the ones, which meet their needs, preferences, and expectations most.
Being a professional travel agent you can offer your customers to choose and book a tour on the web. As an Air Company — allow booking, purchasing and getting itinerary online. As a hotelier provide the possibility of room and extra facilities reservation through your site.
To make it short — just offer your clients the opportunity of booking and choosing services online and you will gain the majority of customers. Online services solve not only the problems of the users but help service providers as well.
To move with the tides find the useful UX Practices from Best Travel Sites in one of our articles and tailor your own approach to customers.
5. Mobile Applications —the digital trend easiest to implement
Travel and tourism industry overview for the recent years has shown that half of the online booking operations are mobile. Actually, this digital trend is the easiest to implement into the travel industry of the contemporaneity. Mobile applications can not only facilitate the booking and reservation procedures but combined with the IoT — Internet of Things — Technology can allow hotel guests, for instance, control room appliances.
Promotional messages can be used as a part of the travel marketing strategy. Combined with a beacon technology, mobile apps are able to make them most relevant to the individual’s location and preferences.
By the way, Stfalcon knows for sure what trends should be taken into consideration for a perfect app design.
6. Voice technology a digital novelty disrupting the travel and hospitality sector
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.
The main reason why the increasing number of hoteliers start introducing voice-activated devices at their hotels is the customers switch to voice interactions wherever it’s possible. Voice commands may be used for adjusting the hotel room settings to the individual needs of the guest, for the most up-to-date information provision, for the customer service purposes.
Actually, voice technology is an integral part of the other technologies entering the stage of the travel industry and it has much to do with personalization, artificial intelligence, and chatbots we are going to look at closer below.
7. Chatbots and Artificial Intelligence — the top 2019 digital trends in the travel industry
Artificial intelligence does not mean robots alone. The other way of its application, most obvious for travel is for the purposes of customer support, which is realized via chatbots. It’s estimated that 40% of large business brands will adopt the technology by 2020 and travel industry companies belong here as well.
Chatbots demonstrate topnotch ability to accurately and continuously sort through data and to deliver rapid responses to the problems or queries. Artificial intelligence is able to draw conclusions based on customer feedback and behavior. It will allow the AI to provide advice on the improvement of business performance of a company and even intelligently manage inventories. Besides, AI is able to learn from interactions, which means the more it works, the smarter it is.
8. Augmented and Virtual Reality — mainstream consumer technologies of the present
Virtual reality technology has gained the market of entertainments in recent years, however, smart specialists of the travel industry have already realized it to be one of the most promising tech travel trends. It can allow the traveler to digitally get into the virtual surroundings of the place he is just going to visit, be it a hotel or a tourist hotspot.
Augmented reality is the smaller brother of VR, which presupposes augmenting a person’s real surroundings. The main advantage of the new technology in travel and tourism is it’s being relatively cheap, especially for the users. Thus having only a tablet or a smartphone with a special app and active internet connection a traveler can find out more about the location, a building or a landmark he is in in real time. This possibility of getting information right on the go allows the travel industry professionals to enhance their clients’ experience. People buy emotions best and as an expert, you can offer them in such a way information, emotions, and excitement combined.
9. The Internet of Things — smart objects able to interact
IoT is an extremely exciting present-day technology. It allows every-day smart devices to communicate through the internet and offers wide opportunities along with multiple benefits for the travel-related activities.
The variations of this technology application are numerous. In a hotel, it may be a device, which is connected to the light, heating and conditioning equipment, able to control it all according to the visitor’s preferences and smart energy saving options. Besides, the device may be able to issue warnings on the necessity of repairs or replacement of certain appliances. The Internet of Things technology is also capable to facilitate the check-in processes by sending electronic keys to guests’ smartphones.
In the airports, 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 not only provide tourists with control and access to the necessary data via their phones but deliver a superb customer experience. Be smart and optimize your internal processes to make the most of this digital trend.
10. Blockchain — the groundbreaking tech trend of the future travels
Blockchain technology has literally exploded in the digital world several years ago and still remains a vague notion to many of individuals. However, those, who can see the opportunities, realize the great potential the technology has for almost every sphere of our life and especially for the world of travel.
Though at present the technology is mainly referred to in the terms of digital currencies, and the aspect of secure transactions is really vital, the essence of the blockchain lies in the data storage and transferring through special clusters, where the information is always secure, traceable and transparent.
Besides, the details are resistant to modification and unsanctioned tampering. It makes the technology rank high from the point of view of security and stability. It’s especially important for the industry of traveling and tourism as it relies on data transfer between multiple companies — travel agencies, air carriers, and hotels. With the blockchain the personal details of a traveler are always securely stored and transmitted across the network.
Though it seems a science fiction today, in the nearest future the technology of blockchain can totally change the whole world of traveling being able to deal with all the necessary procedures completely online in combination with other modern trends in the travel industry. It’s probable that you will soon be able to entrust your whole flight booking, hotel reservation and car renting formalities to the chatbots and robots interacting through the blockchain-based technology.
Now, when you are aware of all the current trends, which fuel the present day development of the sector, you can’t but should develop your own progressive digital strategy to make the most in the market.
As a travel industry business leader you know that it’s vital to keep pace with the competitors and even get advantage over some of them, improving at the same time the unique customer experience you offer your clients.
Being aware and making use of the new technologies mentioned above, you are now able to embed innovations in the services you offer.
In our latest whitepaper we analyze the main areas to consider for innovations within the travel industry in 2019 and aim to help you set the right investment priorities. Download our whitepaper “Travel Industry: Where to Invest” and make sure you can always expand and integrate your service, product or solution later.