Mobile devices and related technologies have had a clear, disruptive influence on many different industries. This is as true for the travel industry as it is for anything else.
And, because these technologies are always developing, the types of changes we can anticipate are also constantly developing.
The following are a few to pay attention to in the near future that will transform how we plan, get to, and experience our travel adventures.
Customers Have More Power
Technological innovations have already caused major shifts in the power dynamics of the travel industry. Customers can now access a wealth of information about hotels, airlines, car services, and more, thanks to the availability of honest reviews. Digital marketing agencies have learned to leverage positive reviews by implementing software like Yotpo that puts these testimonials front and centre on a brand’s virtual materials.
As this trend progresses, it’s very likely that customers will have more opportunities to ask direct questions about their travel options. Travel company Trippy follows this model. Users can ask any travel-related question, and experts will answer them. Readers vote on the answers to ensure the best ones make it to the top.
Booking Will Become Even Easier
The internet has made booking a hotel room or flight easier than it has ever been. You no longer need to call the company directly to make arrangements. Luckily, this task will soon become even easier to accomplish. Chatbot technology is evolving at a fast rate, with AI chatbots becoming more realistic and natural each year. Soon, they’ll play a major role in the booking process.
Imagine visiting a hotel’s website and having a virtual assistant available at your fingertips. They’ll walk you through every step of the process, ensuring you get the exact room and amenities you want.
Navigating New Cities is Much Simpler
For years, travellers relied on printed maps and local advice to help them get around unfamiliar areas without getting lost. GPS technology has changed this. Now it’s virtually impossible to get lost, so long as you have access to your preferred mapping app. This has given travellers the freedom to explore their destinations with much greater confidence.
Apps like Detour expand on this freedom. Users can access guided walking tours from their mobile devices. This allows them to not only save money on expensive tours but also to explore new cities on their own time. Local businesses could also use apps like this to direct more tourists to their establishments. These types of services even allow users to create their own tours.
Wearables Are Making Travel More Convenient
Wearable technology will also make travelling a much simpler experience. Some airlines already allow customers to use boarding passes on their smartwatches. Hotels are also starting to give customers the option to open their rooms with their watches.
Wearables can even boost your overall security and confidence when navigating a new city. Instead of constantly checking your phone’s map, your smartwatch could simply buzz, letting you know when to turn left or right. You’re both more aware of your surroundings and in a better mood if you don’t need to constantly check your phone to determine how to get from point A to point B.
Smartphones Make Airports Less Frustrating
Location-specific iBeacons that help you find your gate at the airport. Programs that sync your smartphone with the departure/arrival time chart. Digital boarding passes. These are just a few of the ways smartphones are making it much easier to navigate an unfamiliar airport. There may come a day when the idea of air travel being a complicated and time-consuming experience even before you board will be a thing of the past.
Overall, technology is simply removing much of the hassle from travelling. It’s likely to continue doing so in the years to come. Although mobile tech has improved the customer experience in many industries, it’s been particularly beneficial for travellers.
Rae is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content. Rae is passionate about travel, food, and writing (of course)
Ray is a freelance writer for taktical.co