Like any industry, the modern travel business is actively experimenting with technology. Travel-tech platforms, hotel chains, airlines, and car hire companies are innovating for economic benefits.
For example, today you can easily book a cheap car hire Edinburgh Airport for your upcoming trip. You will be sure of the lowest price because smart search technologies allow you to compare offers from all available car hire providers. This is just one example of the application of technology in the travel industry.
Nowadays, several other innovative solutions have already proven their cost-effectiveness and positive impact on business performance. Some of them have already become the industry standard, while others will soon move from the field of experimentation to the must-have category.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning
Developments in the field of AI and machine learning are opening up great opportunities for travel industry players and their consumers. AI in tourism is an ultra-personalized booking engine, automated aircraft handling, and better traffic management for travellers.
For example, Chatme has created a travel chatbot that can easily order a transfer or car hire vehicle, check-in for a flight, report the weather, or even chat with a client about abstract topics. The use of the solution allows you to reduce the cost of the support service by 80%. In monetary terms it can be up to $10 million per year.
Another company that benefits from innovation is Skyscanner. The service monitors price changes according to the specified parameters and informs the customer about the most advantageous offers. According to the platform’s own estimates, this makes it possible to reduce the average cost of tickets for a user by 34.6%.
Virtual and Augmented Reality
VR and AR technologies are a powerful trend in tourism today. You can find the examples of their use in travel agencies, hotel chains, and museums around the world. For example, one of the premium hotels Atlantis Dubai in the UAE has added a 360-degree video tour to its standard marketing toolkit. The potential client got the opportunity to feel like a hotel guest for a few minutes – lie on a huge bed or even stand under a virtual shower.
The technology allows you to get acquainted with the sights, resorts, and beaches before actually visiting them, explore the area and learn more about the upcoming trip. Imagine driving your hire car along the spectacular roads of the Isle of Skye in Scotland. VR and AR technology make it possible. They recreate the original appearance of famous landmarksin order to use them in popular excursion programs.
It’s impossible to accurately calculate the benefits of VR and AR technology, but the British hotel chain Premier Inn has increased the number of hotel visitors by 5% thanks to the augmented reality application.
Internet of things (IoT)
In the wake of smart homes and offices, smart hotels and airports are emerging today. IoT technology is being actively implemented in the hospitality and travel industry.
London City Airport has developed its own IoT-based system. It manages the movements of passengers, measures travel time, creates loyalty programs. Also, it provides services depending on the location of the airport visitor. The system shows high efficiency in the search for missing passengers and baggage.
The Internet of Things allows you to use a car without a key, which makes special sense in the car hire service. The customer doesn’t need to stand in line at the car hire office to complete the paperwork and receive the keys. Instead, he signs an electronic contract in a mobile application, after which the customer’s own smartphone turns into a key. As a result, this technology helps to save labor and energy resources.
Modern travel planning and booking platforms are faced with huge amounts of data. This includes information on geopolitical events, weather conditions, macroeconomic indicators, user preferences, current carrier rates, and changes in transport schedules. Any data set, if properly processed, can provide a lot of useful information that can’t be extracted manually. That is why Big data technology is so popular in tourism. Its possibilities are simply endless.
The aerospace industry has adopted technology around the world and is getting great results. For example, Korean Air has reduced troubleshooting time by 90% through automated exploration and analysis of large amounts of information.
Despite some inflated expectations and subsequent disappointment with blockchain technology in tech markets, today it’s being actively rehabilitated in some industries. The travel industry is one area where technology can unleash its benefits and provide users with cheaper trips.
One of the main advantages of the technology is it’s safety. It allows you to make secure transactions that don’t require additional verification. It means that one day it will be possible to travel without having either cash or a passport.
The second huge advantage of the technology is the ability to build a payment system, excluding many financial intermediaries from the chain, which can significantly reduce the cost of tickets. For example, hotels and airlines will be able to bypass banks and receive payments directly from customers.