Key Trends Shaping Travel Tech In 2019

By Sachin Singh, Head- Technical Solutions, Hotelbeds

How would you like if you can experience your dream resort before you have even checked-in for your next family vacation? How about shorter waiting times at the airport and even less waiting time to check-in at your hotel room? With the advent of new technological advances, all of the above and much more are taking shape today to make your holiday experience more curated and interactive.

While improving customer experience, technology also plays a vital role in increasing the efficiency of business operations and it is critical for hotels, airlines and other holiday providers to keep themselves updated with emerging Travel trends and technologies to be ahead of the competition.

“Technology plays a vital role in increasing the efficiency of business operations and it is critical for hotels, airlines and other holiday providers to keep themselves updated with emerging Travel trends and technologies to be ahead of the competition”

Virtual Reality Solutions

Today more and more customers are looking into their Travel plans or vacations as an opportunity to experience new cultures, locations, and activities. Virtual Reality Solutions like virtual reality headsets are letting travelers experience Hotel's properties, local tourist spots and things to do, letting travelers make informed decisions on things they put in their itinerary and rely less on reading property descriptions on B2C websites. Virtual reality solutions also allows businesses showcase their hotels and must-try things within and outside the hotel generating them an incremental revenue stream. For instance, Atlantis the Palm hotel in Dubai uses Virtual Reality content to market their property and provide customers more interactive experience of their 1,539 rooms and multiple room categories like underwater suite rooms.

                                      Sachin Singh, Head- Technical Solutions, Hotelbeds

Recognition Technology

Checking into your hotel room can be an unnerving experience when the wait time is too long after a long journey from your home to the airport and airport to the hotel. However, thanks to recognition technology which can help identify an individual's identity through fingerprint recognition, retina scanning or facial recognition. Today multiple hotels are using recognition technology like fingerprint scanning to access their rooms and facial recognition for faster check-ins. One such example is a tie between Alibaba's Alipay and Marriott hotel in China which is using face recognition technology and offering their guests less than a minute check-in experience. Like hotels, airlines are also rolling out recognition technology allowing tourists to quickly complete the boarding process by briefly standing in front of the camera to prove their identity.

Internet of Things (IoT)

Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the most promising recent technologies that is being deployed at multiple airports and hotel properties to effectively cater to Traveler demands and at the same time being costeffective for hotels and airports. Internet of things refers to multiple things connected to the internet so they can share data with other things using built-in sensors. Currently, many hotels provide a single device to their guests that control lights, air conditioning, and water heating in the room and help guests request services with the touch of a button. Hilton and Marriott have experimented with connected room concepts where the user can control many of the room's features. Using IoT technology devices can send a recommendation to go to places for tourists based on their current location. Thus Internet of Things if used effectively can cut costs for holiday providers, provide better customer satisfaction and streamline business processes.

Big Data

With ever-increasing competition within the Travel industry, it has become an urgent need to cater to the personalized needs of the traveler by identifying customer buying and choice patterns to forecast better offerings. Although it sounds pretty straightforward. However, a lot goes behind the scenes before suggesting an offer to a traveler. Since the advent of the internet and its mainstream usage, every user is emitting data and leaving their digital footprints. Since this data became larger and larger that struck the concept of big data, a term referred to the set of large data sets of different types of data. Big data simply refers to a large set of data that can offer travel providers the following benefits.

Today, businesses can gather data about a customer from various platforms including social media, e-commerce market place, use of the internet and many more sources. When relevant traveler data is combined with Travel provider's business strategy for customer acquisition it opens a realm of possibility for businesses by making customers more responsive to the offerings. It also saves costs for providers advertising and marketing campaigns by targeting the very specific needs of the traveler.

The above technology trend if targeted to right customer needs can not only increase customer responsiveness and experiences but will go a long way in making better Return on Investment for Travel Providers who can continue to create memorable holiday experiences for their clients.

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