We all know that the travel and tourism industry is constantly growing, changing, and improving.
Whether you are a travel agent, tour operator, or traveller, the emergence of technology is an important and interesting development to consider.
The number of different uses and types of technology for our sector is vast, but luckily we have you covered!
What types of technology are being used in the travel and tourism industry? Read our newest blog to discover 10 key technology trends.
The state of the industry
After reaching an all-time low during the height of the pandemic, the state of the travel and tourism industry has now largely recovered. After the rollout of vaccines last year and many Covid-19 restrictions lifted or lessened, there was a sizable spike in travel demand. In fact, over the next six months, data has shown that over 80% of Americans are expected to plan vacations to various tourism hubs, which will continue to contribute to the recovery of the travel industry.
While issues such as taxation, travel marketing, infrastructure issues, and security and cross-border regulations remain a challenge for the tourism and travel industry, the recovery of the global economy and the implementation of new technology will only help to improve the industry further.
The impact of technology on the travel and tourism industry
Technology has largely impacted the travel and tourism industry. Digitisation has allowed for increased simplicity of planning, booking, and organising travel and tourism for both customers and companies.
Technology has made it easier to plan the details of trips, such as arranging airfare, hotels, and activities. By investing a few hours into doing your own online research or using the expert advice from digitised travel and tourism platforms, the Internet of Things has made it so that all you need for planning the vacation of a lifetime is access to a computer or smartphone.
What are the reasons why we need the new technologies in the tourism industry?
Technology plays a critical role within the tourism industry by assisting businesses with everyday tasks and helping to improve customer satisfaction. The importance of the travel and tourism industry maintaining the most recent technological trends and advancements can be seen through:
- Improving communication between guests and staff to create an easy, open, and friendly environment that will keep businesses and customers satisfied;
- Convenience. Both staff and customers benefit from the seamless and contactless services that can be provided through technology. Whether it’s scanning a QR code to order room service at a hotel or checking in online for a flight; the technology streamlines customer’s needs and the services that businesses can then provide to them;
- Enabling staff to provide superior services through digitising guest preferences such as favourite restaurants during their last stay or the number of pillows they prefer so when guests stay at the same hotel, staff can accommodate them appropriately;
- Technology is expected. Whether you are a hotel, airline, or travel agency, customers expect reliable technology such as wifi, online booking and customer service, and up-to-date digital knowledge on changing Covid-19 protocols. Having a business that stays up to date with the latest technology is a must in today’s society
How are technology trends changing the travel and tourism industry?
The first key technology trend is seen through “travel technology.” Technology has completely changed the way travel functions, shaping our tourism and travel plans to have easier, more fun, and less stressful planning and experiential methods. This large shift in the travel industry is what we now refer to as travel technology.
According to Hotelmize, “travel technology means using tech to plan trips. It helps travel agencies book trips for their customers, together with airline tickets, hotel accommodation, car rentals, and many other travel-related activities.”
Technology has made the automation of travel a possibility, meaning that planning travel is now much faster and more exciting for travellers and travel agencies. It is now possible to plan a trip in minutes, along with booking accommodations, tickets, flights, and much more.
Travel technology automates “bookings, payments, and back-office tasks for travel agencies and enables consumers to make their online bookings without a travel agent.”
Advantages and disadvantages of technology trends in the tourism industry
The second, third, and fourth technology trends that are emerging can be seen through the potential of technology that has been seen in many major areas of the economy (including the tourism and hospitality industry). The three emerging advantage technology trends in this sector can be identified as:
1: Larger reach to customers
Technology has allowed for more thorough and researched marketing and advertising. Travel and tourism companies are able to use different online methods to provide detailed travel information to their customers. In addition, customers can easily search online for the travel plans and companies that fit their needs best
Digitisation streamlines the processes needed for organising and enacting travel plans. Companies that offer deals on online airfare, hotel booking, and excursions through their platforms are able to attract and retain customers. On the other side, travellers can research and consider different price points and offers to best fit their tourism needs.
Through technology, people from any part of the world, have the capability to connect with each other. Travellers and businesses have the ability to communicate, plan, accommodate, and connect travellers across the globe
Meanwhile, there are also some disadvantages that come with technology trends in the tourism industry. For example:
The amount of necessary jobs has decreased within the tourism industry as technology improves and expands. Marketing and advertising research can be done largely online and by fewer employees due to the ease of the internet. In addition, the automation of booking, hospitality, and travel services has caused managers, waiters, and other staff to lose their jobs to the costs that are cut by using advanced technology instead
2: Privacy Concerns
One of the downsides of technology is the ability for hackers to find and steal personal or company information that is online or within technological systems. Although this can pose a real danger, there are luckily virus prevention software, password protection options, and encryption methods to better protect and prevent such malware attacks.
Top most emerging technology trends in the Travel and Tourism Industry
The last six key emerging technology trends are seen in the newest, most coveted, and most useful technologies in the travel and tourism industry, which include voice search and voice control, contactless payment, virtual and augmented reality, the Internet of Things, and facial recognition technology.
- Voice Search and Voice Control
Voice search takes away the need for typing and also helps tourists obtain information about their travel plans or their travel accommodations without actually speaking to staff. Voice control is increasingly being used for contactless services. For example, hotels may install voice control features to control customised lighting and heating settings within rooms.
- Contactless Payments
This digital form of payment transaction allows customers to pay without any cash or in-person interactions. Contactless payment includes online banking, Debit or Credit cards, Smartcards, and more.
- Virtual and Augmented Reality
BBN Times defines virtual reality as “a simulation technology that gives us a real-life view and experience with the help of visuals, sound, and special effects” and augmented reality as “a stimulus technology that creates an enhanced version of the real-world scenery and elements such as visuals, sounds, and sensory stimuli.” Both virtual and augmented reality are beginning to be used in the travel sector by allowing customers to experience destinations, hotels, and restaurants without actually travelling. Using VR headsets or smartphones for augmented reality, tourists can use these technologies to decide where they want to book their trips based on what they experience.
- Internet of Things
This is the network between connected technologies such as chips, software, and sensors that are powered by the internet. The Internet of Things can be used in the travel industry to control appliances such as those in hotel rooms or aeroplanes from one panel, sort and keep track of traveller’s luggage, and even gather customer data to create personalised advertising content.
- Facial Recognition Technology
With this technology, your face becomes the key to your travel experiences. The software can scan, store, and recognise your face to be used for identification purposes that allow you to enter a hotel room by simply presenting your face to the door instead of scanning a key, completing a payment without a card just by showing your face to the phone or kiosk, and much much more.
In recent years, robots have been used within the travel and tourism industry. Robots such as chatbots on websites that allow customers to interact with programming software that completes tasks and answers questions are used by many travel companies. In addition, physical robots that can carry luggage or transport guests are also becoming more common
How Nezasa is shaping the Future
Nezasa is shaping the future of the travel and tourism industry by offering a travel booking solution that empowers travel brands globally to combine all planning and booking-related actions into one seamless end-to-end experience. Using cutting-edge technology, Nezasa is a faster, easier, state-of-the-art solution to help travel companies have the resources to organise the perfect vacation for their customers.