The tourism and hospitality industry is the largest piece of the pie in the global economy contributor projected to generate 183 billion US$ by 2020. The obvious reason it gained this level of momentum is the aid of technology. From booking tickets and arranging accommodations to transportation for sightseeing, technology altered every sector of tourism and gave the face-lift it deserved.
Technology trends in Tourism
The internet and mobile have changed the way people travel and experience trips. Not only mobile phones but various other technologies made a mark on this industry. We will have to look at this one at a time.
Mobile phone – best co-pilot
Mobile is the one-stop-shop for traveling. Even though websites have been a norm for more than 10 years, it is mobile phone the newest superhero in town.
80% of the online reservations are made through mobile phones as of statistics of 2018. Just the sheer number of users is enough to make mobile bookings mainstream.
The much-adored paper maps, guidebooks, and compass are replaced by interactively amazing mobile apps.
You can now book your flight, make reservations for rooms after comparing many agencies and know about ‘things to do’ at your destination all with a single mobile app.
Facilitating the apps with IoT can function as the digital room key, luggage tracker at the airport (it is funny when your trolley follows you around like a puppy), but on a serious note, your luggage comes back to you even when lost or stolen.
To be honest, the travel industry without mobile apps is pretty lame.
Augmented and Virtual Reality
Teleporting like Harry Potter is a reality today with AR/VR technologies which allows you to view your destination as if you are there when you are on the other side of the planet. Tech like 360 degrees allows the hotelier to showcase their rooms and tourist hotspots.
This allows the traveler to know beforehand what to expect when he arrives at his destination.
And people can travel to the grand canyon without getting of the comfort of the couch by VR apps.
Chatbots and Virtual assistants
Alexa and Siri are the well-known assistants today, which meets our day-to-day needs like “play baby shark”, “what is the weather like today?” and more.
Major hotels in the world have already incorporated virtual assistants for their guest rooms and by this giving 24*7 attention to their customers.
It is not complete unless I share!!
Social Media, playing the biggest role in moral gossiping. You can know which is the best airline service, which hotel has the best view, the most remote places to visit nearby, etc…
Life is now just a slow-moving train without social media. It inspires you to travel, informs about the travel and when you are finished, lets you tell the world about your experiences.
Sharing is living.
Having said the important tech involved in the industry, what does this mean to a traveler and a travel agency.
The source of comfort – for the traveler
For a fellow traveler, their experiences start and end in various steps unless they are the spontaneous decision-maker who packs their bag and takes the first train from the station. The steps are like
Checking into Instagram, facebook and travel vlogs
Making a note of possible destinations within their budget
Checking into apps or websites like Skyscanner
Booking flights, hotels and cab rentals for sightseeing all done in one app.
Reaching the destination, cab rental waits for you, you get to the hotel room, and virtual assistant waiting to hear your needs.
Making videos, photos, and stories on your vacation and return home.
Sharing the photos on Instagram, Facebook and writing reviews completes the journey.
Nowhere in this trip is paperwork required, except for your passport, of course.
Technology offers the comfort of “everything is taken care of” for the travelers. Traveling is made easy and safe with fewer cash transactions as every payment is made through online wallets and gateways. There is practically very little for a traveler to worry about.
And for the travel agencies, they have to be what their customers need them to be.
Being the source of comfort for the travelers
A travel agent is now not just a shady person sitting in front of a desktop, taking notes of your schedule and tries to get the tickets.
They are now the companion you can rely on for all your travel needs. Notable agents like Skyscanner, Booking.com, and Airbnb pretty much gets you covered for your dream vacation. Their hassle-free payment methods lets pay without doubt and travel without physical cash.
Apart from booking, mobile apps of travel agents works as a strategic marketing tool. It lets you stay connected with your customers through social media and nurture customer loyalty by offering discounts and promotional offers.
The mobile app promotes the branding of the agency and becomes the holy grail of market research and abundant information.
Technology and mobile apps play a juggernaut role in businesses and customer experience. But it is critical to be the biggest shark in the competitive industry by offering something more to the customers.
And that something is digitalization.
Offer your customers what they can never refuse, with the aid of digital innovations.
At Zoondia, we have been developing digital novelties for the tourism sphere with a proficient team of developers who can build custom apps and cater to every single requirement, regardless of big or small.
With all technology and digital tools in the market, the question is what are you going to do, to take advantage of the tools?