In the digital age, travel and tourism have taken on new traits. Technology has given the industry new ways to communicate with customers, smoother internal operations and more possibilities for growth. As these innovations have come on the scene, the needs of guests have also evolved. While 2019 unfolds, you can look out for several technology shifts that coincide with your hotel, resort or tourist destination. Check out these eight technology trends affecting travel and tourism to stay informed.
- Range of WiFi Spreads
While WiFi in hotels became an essential, ample internet connectivity on flights lagged. Now that in-flight WiFi has caught up, the scope continues to expand to meet travelers' needs — spanning large sections of outdoor area. Outdoor WiFi means guests won't have to risk going off the grid on their trips. Valued at $28.51 billion in 2017, the global outdoor WiFi market is set to reach a worth of $63.25 billion by the end of 2023. Hotels and tourist locations are treating their visitors to greater coverage and faster internet service. With the rise of smart gadgets, accessible and rapid networks are highly valuable.
- Shift to Voice Searches
Verbal searches are rising with the capabilities of smart devices, and by 2020, half of all internet searches will be voiced. Voice assistance saves travelers from typing search queries into their mobile devices, and the hospitality industry is including voice command tools in rooms for effortless stays. One front-runner of voice innovation, Marriott, partnered with Amazon for Alexa for Hospitality to answer hotel-related questions and perform tasks. More hotels will follow suit in 2019 to harness the potential of voice technology.
- Enhanced Customer Service Through AI
Using artificial intelligence, customer service is no longer restricted to human interactions in travel. Now, chatbots are available to deal with simple questions and direct visitors to solutions. AI can keep guests happy and informed, leading to a stronger reputation for your establishment.
Conserving time for guests and hotel employees is profitable for hotels and resorts. To maximize engagement before and during a guest's stay, personalized messages and suggestions can make more organic communications.
- Ease of Planning on Apps
Improved features on smartphone apps have made them more attractive for planning and booking this year. For the first time, the number of mobile transactions is set to surpass desktop ones in 2019, and the number of travelers booking via mobile apps continues to soar.
Apps can help travelers as they sort out the details of a vacation from comparing flights to an organized itinerary. As spontaneous trips are progressively popular, mobile services like HotelTonight can match people to hotel deals at the last minute.
- Wearable Devices for Convenience
Wearable technology extends the ways tourists can get to know unfamiliar areas and maintain security. Keyless entry on smartphones is applicable to wearable devices, too, perhaps with further convenience.
Interactive smart glasses like Google Glass and the many kinds of smartwatches around are just the beginning of technology accessories. Hotel Alessandra in Houston has welcomed the possibilities of wearable technology to promote exceptional service.
- Augmented and Virtual Reality Marketing
Augmented and virtual reality uniquely reaches potential travelers. Sampling different room and activity options through these digital surroundings spurs on decision making before arrival.
In 2019, augmented and virtual reality are heightening marketing for travel and tourism. Allowing customers, a sneak peek of their room and their travel destination, hotels can produce an immersive experience.
- Internet of Things (IoT) Personalization
Linking appliances in hotel rooms through the Internet of Things adds a rare level of customization for guests. From lost luggage to managing the thermostat, IoT meets the specific desires of visitors.
Stored data of guests' preferences and implementation of their likes and dislikes can dramatically alter customer satisfaction. Sensors also have the potential to improve internal functions for hotel staff.
- Cryptocurrency Payments
Safer payment methods and a broader variety of payment options are transforming global travel. Mobile payments can fast-track transactions, but alternative payment solutions open up more advantages.
The infrastructure of blockchain technology can set hotels and tourist locations apart. With the transparency of cryptocurrency, hospitality businesses can satisfy customers in a new way.
Observe Technology's Revolutionary Influence
With the ebb and flow of technology trends, it's vital to track what's popular in travel and tourism. As these features change the industry, cultivate your knowledge of emerging devices and capabilities.