New Travel Tech: Chatbots, Virtual Reality, Big Data… Oh My!

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The year was 2019. There were lions, tigers, bears, planes, chatbots, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality. It was one of the greatest times in the travel industry’s history all due to the rapidly evolving capabilities of new technology.

Since the rise of the online world and other modern tech ventures, the traveling industry continually adapted to the growth of new technologies. Today, we now face new challenges thanks to the latest technologies sweeping the travel scene. From the growing online booking sector to robotic technology, let’s look at five of the newest travel technologies and how it could affect your business.

1. Chatbots and Artificial Intelligence

AI is leading the way when it comes to revolutionizing travel technology. Chatbots and other artificial intelligence uses are helping travelers and advisors save time organizing trips and finding new places to visit. Popular booking sites like Expedia.com and airline services like KLM Royal Dutch Airlines already use chatbots on their websites. Along with providers who are already on board, it’s estimated that 40% of large business brands will adopt the technology by 2020, according to Forbes.

These chatbots are already helping deliver travel services to users quickly and efficiently. But they are also a great tool for service providers as they collect crucial data that can help you personalize the travel experience more fully including purchase history.

2. Biometrics

Another way the travel industry is adopting new tech comes in the form of biometric identification. Late last year reports by SITA found that 77 percent of airports and 71 percent of airlines are planning to implement or are researching ways of using biometrics in travel identification.

Earlier this year, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced that they are beginning work with the US Customs Border and Protection agency rolling out biometric technology countrywide for all flights. What does this mean for your travelers? Well, over the next few years plan on biometrics to become a routine part of the check-in and boarding process whether they are leaving the country or visiting it.

Biometrics is also sure to improve the travel experience. The technological adaptation will most likely reduce waiting time and eliminate the redundant document checks that happen during the identification process. Since travel is a service-based industry, biometrics is one of the most impactful ways technology is improving the entire customer-service experience.

3. Robotics

When you think of robots, you probably think of cartoon robot movies full of machines that perform cleaning duties and other physical tasks. Now take that view and adjust it to today’s reality. Real-life robots can be completely autonomous or semi-autonomous, using a range of technologies to complete specific tasks.

In the travel industry, robots are quickly gaining popularity. Travelers are now seeing robots in a variety of forms including concierge services, suitcases, assistants, and security services. Here are a few examples of how robots are already used in the travel industry:

Moving forward we wouldn’t be surprised to see an increasing amount of robot technology in the hotel industry. From delivering information assistance to performing concierge services, robot technology could vastly improve the traveler experience.

4. Augmented and Virtual Reality

When Steve Cook delivered a VR experience that gave travelers a glimpse into far-off destinations without ever leaving their home country, it seemed crazy. Now that this technology has only evolved since that first product, augmented reality is every travel advisors dream.

Using AR and VR technology you can get travelers excited about their trip all by using a special app. As most travel advisors know, people are driven by their feelings and one way you can boost their emotions is by combing that with a digital visual experience of a lifetime.

5. Big Data

Perhaps one of the most powerful ways technology is used for improving the travel experience is through the employment of big data. Nearly all companies are now using data collection techniques to enhance and personalize their travel offerings. Whether it is hotel services using big data for revenue management or better anticipating demand trends, big data and predictive analysis can significantly influence the way you do business.

For the travel advisory sector, you can use big data in your dealings for a more detailed look into your online presence. Yelp.com offers a free 22-page e-book that helps business owners track the activity on your page. You can also look into other partnerships such as TripAdvisor’s Business Advantage program that provides analytics on your offers.

If you want to get started on this, there are a few ways to tip-toe into big data collection. For example, start by setting up an Instagram or Facebook Business Account. These accounts offer statistics on your account, including best times to post and audience tracking data. This can help you target your specific demographic and make adjustments as needed.

6. Luggage Tracking Apps

One of the most popular travel technologies of the times is real-time luggage tracking apps with 57% of travelers eager to use these services more than other futuristic innovations, according to Booking.com. And with the SITA 2018 Baggage Report showing signs of improvement, it’s easy to see this statistic in play.

Smart luggage GPS trackers give travelers a sense of security throughout their travel. These small devices transmit a GPS or GSM location to a server that then communicates with a mobile app so that travelers have peace of mind where ever they are. It is a wonderful technology that you can provide travelers as they visit destinations throughout the world.

7. Online Booking

Last year online booking exceeded over $92.5 million. Now, experts predict that that number will grow up to $11.5 trillion in the next decade. While this might look like a disadvantage to travel advisors, it can actually be used towards your business growth.

You can now compete with online booking services by offering your clients better deals than the prices they see online. Even, if the prices remain the same, you can provide details of their travel plan that can’t be booked online. These services include competitive airfare, travel insurance, tour bookings, and more.

To stay ahead of the game and compete with this growing tech trend it is crucial that you align with cutting-edge service providers and an agency that keeps you updated with all of the latest news and trends.

For additional information about emerging technologies in the travel industry, contact Andavo Travel. We’d love to help you learn more about how you can better serve your clients.


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