Last updated:
20 Oct, 2021

How Technology is Changing Travel and Tourism Industry

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No surprise, technological advances affect the travel industry and the way we travel or plan our vacations. The impact of technology on travel is enormous nowadays and only travel companies that digitize their processes can compete. Technology made travel easier, mainly because of travel apps, online travel platforms, and blogs. Millennials and Gen Z also played a crucial role in boosting the technological innovations in the travel industry – they love traveling and love technologies. The worldwide pandemic also boosted technological progress on the one hand and slowed down the travel industry.

Technology has transformed the travel industry, and travel businesses that are not responding to this appeal will be out of business sooner or later. Technological advances increase business efficiency and optimize different processes, reducing manual work, and improving customer experience.

We want to share the leading tech solutions that have changed the travel industry and what we expect in the nearest years.

Why digital transformation in the travel domain?

The recent 2020-2021 years and pandemic almost put the travel industry on its knees, and digital transformation is something that travel companies need for survival. Travel businesses need to improve their services to conduct social distances between customers and decrease social interaction. Check-ins in airports are online, any possible bookings are also online.

According to a study conducted in July 2020, about 55 percent of respondents worldwide were thrilled with potential technologies to further personalize their travel. Travel companies implement different technology solutions to enhance customers’ experience. People usually search for information online, use apps as personal guide, and book flights or accommodation through websites or apps. As travelers conduct pre-travel planning online, travel companies should interact with them online and do it properly. For example, many companies also implement chatbot solutions and other online interactions to engage customers. And, this is not the full list of travel tech solutions.

Another study conducted in September 2020, was devoted to the preferred potential applications of technologies for travel by respondents from several countries. About 38 percent of those surveyed travelers worldwide said they would like to see technology help reduce queues and congestion in public places. Meanwhile, 29% of respondents believe that technology should help advance notice of travel delays.

Share of travel agencies and tour operators buying cloud computing services in the EU 27
52%
Share of travel and hospitality companies using chatbots worldwide
26%
Share of airlines worldwide expecting to trial al techologies in next three years
84%

Let’s have a look at the top travel tech solutions for the tourism industry for 2021.

No surprise, technological advances affect travel industry and the way we travel or plan our vacations. The impact of technology on travel is enormous nowadays and only travel companies that digitize their processes can compete. Technology made travel easier, mainly because of travel apps, online travel platforms, and blogs. Millennials and Gen Z also played a crucial role in boosting the technological innovations in the travel industry – they love travelling and love technologies.The worldwide pandemic also boosted technological progress on the one hand and slowed down the travel industry.

Travel Apps

Travelers use their smartphones for bookings, shopping, or other actions. Apps are our travel assistants where we search for the best hotels or restaurants and read other reviews. Consumers also prefer communicating through messengers. While traveling, we use smartphones as our ticket ‘storage’. Some travel apps can be your travel guide in the pocket, and some may advise where to find a lounge in the airport.

According to a study conducted in February 2021, 28 percent of surveyed travelers worldwide have used the application before the pandemic travel agencies coronavirus (COVID-19), while about 21 percent of respondents said they used such an application from the beginning of the crisis in health care. At the same time, 33 percent of respondents expect that they will use the travel agency application in future trips.

Share of travelers using travel apps before and since the coronavirus

*Source: Statista 2021

AI chatbots

As people use apps in their travel planning, it’s convenient to use messengers with chatbots. AI chatbots can give an immediate answer with no need to search for the answer in FAQs or spend time chatting with customer agents (and introverts usually hate this). For travel companies, chatbot technology reduces manual work and expenses on hiring more employees as customer agents.

Contactless Check-In

This is one of the most crucial changes in the post-COVID era, as people want social distancing. Today, airports and hotels offer their customers contactless mobile check-in, helping them minimize shared touchpoints or other interactions.

Contactless payments

The ‘COVID’ era has influenced the shift to contactless operations and cashless payments. People are nervous about the spread of the virus and don’t want to handle cash. Travel companies need to adapt to these changes and implement top-notch payment solutions for their customers. Another reason why travelers need contactless payments is that it’s fast and convenient. Travel industry companies develop apps that support wireless applications, enabling users to place their phones in the vicinity of the standard for reading credit card devices. This is a secure and convenient payment method and suitable for hygienic norms in the pandemic time.

Sodis case study

Innovative Mobile App for a Reputable Travel Service Provider

GP Solutions developed an app that supports wireless applications, ensuring reliability and offline operation.

AR and VR

These tools are already beloved by different industries. In the fashion or beauty industries, users can use AR as a fitting room, or you can visualize your home interior thanks to AR. VR is a super-trendy technology that embraces different areas of our life. AR and VR technologies have taken the travel industry by storm. Especially during a pandemic, where people stay home with no possibility to travel, AR and VR technologies bring us this opportunity. Museums have opened their doors to online exhibitions, and you even visit them physically with VR.

Robotics

This technology is not a big part of our daily life yet, but our future for sure. To automate processes and decrease ‘human error’, the travel industry uses robots to enhance customer service and reduce costs on labor. Hotels use robots for concierge roles, and restaurants use robots in food preparation and other food service. Airports can use robots to detect insecure activities, like weapons. And, can you imagine, you will have luggage that follows you like your pet? And, this is the nearest future.

Internet of Things (IoT) and wearables

The IoT is a useful technology in different domains. The tourism industry also embraces this top-notch technology that connects various devices. IoT solutions can be used in airports or hotels when customers can get excellent services through connected devices.

Different travel companies use wearables to improve customers’ engagement. For example, the airlines like Air Berlin and Iberia offer their customers smartwatch boarding passes.

Internet of things

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and big data

AI helps tourism companies personalize customers’ experiences and process a significant amount of data. This technology is popular among search aggregators like Skyscanner, where users can get a customized list of recommendations.

Thanks to AI, companies save time and money and reduce the possibility of human error. AI technology also processes a big amount of data serving more customers than possible with employees. Big data analysis gives an in-depth insight into customer behavior or any other data necessary for service improvement. Thanks to these findings, travel companies make adjustments in their services.

Recognition Technology

This technology is the latest trend in the tourism industry, as it makes purchasing or security actions faster and more convenient. The recognition technology usually includes the following: facial/fingerprint recognition, biometrics, etc.

Again, what is essential for pandemic time – recognition technology minimizes interactions between people. Hotels and airports use this solution in contactless payments, check-outs, and so on.

Virtual Assistants

Virtual assistants like Siri or Alexa are already beloved by many of us. We use virtual assistants in our daily life, so why not in the travel industry? The travel industry also embraces this technology. Thanks to VA, travelers can get information quicker, or even a personal virtual guide while traveling. VA can play the role of concierge and help in bookings, or navigations, etc.

Wrapping Up

Technology is changing the travel and tourism industry, and travel businesses should adapt to these changes. The role of information technology in these processes is huge, as technology connects travel companies with their users globally. If your company is on the way to taking the world by storm by implementing the recent travel tech innovations, GP Solutions is here to help. Our company has become one of the most trusted travel technology providers that help travel companies implement top-notch solutions and digitize processes.

Sergey Zubekhin
Sergey Zubekhin
CEO, Co-founder at GP Solutions
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