Technology has become a part and parcel of our lives today whether we live in a metro city or in a suburb. Technology has been revolutionizing all that we do – from shopping and eating to working and spending some leisure moments with our loved ones. All you need now is a smartphone with internet connectivity to order food, buy home appliances, book a movie ticket, plan a holiday, or reserve a table in your favorite restaurant, and whatnot. You name it and technology brings it right to your doorstep.
Thanks to ongoing advancements in the regime of travel technology, it is now possible to book flights, sightseeing tours, hotel rooms, and several other recreational activities from your mobile device. There is no overstatement in that technology has revolutionized the travel industry and made our travel experiences unprecedentedly convenient and amazing. Travel technology is booming these days. It is, therefore, pertinent to discuss travel technology and its benefits for modern travel businesses and customers.
Travel technology – at a glance
Travel technology, in layman’s language, refers to the use of technology for trips/tours planning. Travel technology makes it possible for travel agencies to book trips for their respective customers, including air ticket booking, hotel reservations, car rentals, hotel accommodations, and other travel-related activities such as sightseeing.
“With computerized reservation systems, modern hoteliers and airline partners can easily handle and manage all travel-related challenges in a snap of fingers. Travel agents are able to streamline communication with concerned parties because reservation systems are able to store and fetch relevant data in real-time. Travel technology simplifies bookings, back-office tasks, payments, etc. while making it possible for customers to plan their trip without the help of a travel consultant or agent,” as per Naimish Sinha – travel technology head, digital, FinTech expert and CTO at EaseMyTrip.
Essentially, travel technology refers to the use of IT and e-commerce solutions in the tourism, hospitality, and travel industry in order to save time, reduce costs, automate travel, and ensure a seamless and great travel experience for consumers – not just during the trip but also before and after the completion of a trip.
Use of technology in travel
Travel technology is booming and the future is certainly brighter. Let’s understand how technology is changing the travel industry and what difference is it making.
Smartphones – Modern Travel Partner
Travel technology makes it exceptionally easy for travel connoisseurs to plan their trips with just a mobile device. Their device can serve as a travel guide no matter which destination they choose to travel to.
“Now you can use a mobile device for getting real-time, credible updates about your flight, hotel check-in or check-out, sightseeing and choosing your way to reach your destination. Using your map or compass, now you can instantly and easily locate nearby restaurants, museum cards, or anything else you may need. Most travel aficionados perhaps love the virtual assistants and voice search options made possible by travel technology. Voice search options such as Siri, Google Assistant, Cortana, and Alexa make people’s journeys more exciting and convenient than ever before, he adds. Modern chatbots are intelligent enough to provide a quick answer to customers’ queries, book tickets, and carry out humanlike, intelligent tasks,” he adds.
AI, ML, and VR
Modern chatbots have become super intelligent because of machine learning (ML). Artificial intelligence (AI) tools provide businesses with the ability to understand customers’ interests, and preferences while they travel.
Hotel managers and CTOs can display/ share their insights with their teams. The hotels can then share relevant offers with their clients.
Other than AI and ML, Virtual Reality (VR) is another blessing of technology to the travel industry. VR allows people to teleport them to another location (virtually) at minimum costs. VR facilitates you to take a free tour of your chosen destination. Furthermore, you can use VR to envision yourself moving in the scenic views of some great hills, rivers, or other destinations you have always wanted to visit. It is nowhere the same as watching videos on YouTube or other video-sharing platforms. When you use VR to visualize, you’ll feel like you have actually been there. This is how the magical world of virtual reality works. Isn’t it interesting?
While VR allows you to get the feel of your chosen travel destination, AR (Augmented Reality) makes it possible for you to explore and take a (virtual) tour of rooms and engage in various facilities of a hotel. Imagine yourself taking a peek inside the airplane you will be boarding soon. You can decide what size of luggage will be right for the particular flight. What’s more, AR lets you access public transportation schedules, without facing any language barriers, and a lot more.
Internet of Things (IoT)
In travel, the role of the Internet of Things or IoT is quite remarkable as it helps travelers streamline and personalize their travel experience. For example, hotels that have embraced the Internet of Things offer their guests the opportunity to control several internet-powered devices in their rooms through their smartphones. Guests can control the thermostat, TVs, lights, etc. from anywhere.
“If we look at the impact of information technology on tourism, statistics prove that nearly 38% of hotel bookings are made online using smartphones. A vast majority of travelers search for travel destinations on their smartphones, roughly 32% of travelers take the help of a virtual assistant for planning their trip, and a majority of travel bookings are made online,” says Naimish Sinha.
Travel technology is booming for sure. As technology makes it easy, quick, and secure to book a flight ticket, hotel room, sightseeing tours, and other travel-related fun activities, the trend is here to grow further in the years to come. The combined powers of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and the Internet of Things is going to make a massive difference to the way people used to travel earlier