The tourism industry finally understood; the need for a customer-centered process. An exponential increase in international travelers made the tourist sector adapt to market expectations, improving the travel experiences. Technologies in the tourism sector were already bearing benefits when the pandemic paralyzed the world.
One year after the 2008 crisis, tourism had a sustained increase from 2010 to 2019. The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) barometer calculated the most significant increase in the sector in 2018, with 7%. Motivated by this climax to improve their services, they studied the user, identifying expectations, motivations, and habits. One year after the confinement due to a pandemic, tourism is expected to reactivate more strongly. Here we present the technologies applied to the tourism sector that improve your travel experience.
Consumer Behavior: The Basis for Technological Innovation in the Tourism Sector
Modern technologies while traveling are now a reality. We have all interacted with virtual assistants, even robots. They allow tourism companies, such as transportation, hospitality, tours, and others, to personalize the traveler’s experience. It was essential to know the consumer’s behavior closely to achieve the technology evolution.
The UNWTO generates annual studies analyzing travel motivations and trends, the most used means of transport, among other indicators. According to this organization, international trips are mainly motivated by leisure and family visits, 53% and 27%. Meanwhile, the most used means of transport are the plane (58%) and road (37%). This information to the sector will be adapted to the user’s needs and implement technological innovations according to market demands.
Traveling Trends According to the OMT Study
- Tourism to «change»: They want local experiences. They seek authenticity, transformation.
- Tourism to «show»: «Instagrammable» destinations, moments, and experiences.
- Healthy life: Ecotourism, curative tourism, sports tourism.
- Grow the «access» economy: Access to goods or spaces for temporary use.
- Lonely or multigenerational tourism: the result of population aging, larger single-person households.
- Sustainable tourism: Eco Friendly.
Tourism and Digital Culture
Digital culture: the set of practices, cognitive abilities, customs, and forms of social interaction highly influenced by digital technology.
Currently, digital culture is a way of life. The new digital-native generations have made it their modus vivendi. Motivated by maintaining global connection, up-to-the-minute information, and social awareness, they have reconfigured our interaction with the world. Through digitization, human, ethical, and social values gain relevance.
In the tourism sector, digital culture catalyzed innovation. The Boston Consulting Group stated that 95% of travelers use digital resources before, during, and after their trips. Companies seek to use technologies to solve problems and improve processes.
What we are currently experiencing is a metamorphosis in the tourism industrySector study and report on trends in the tourism industry.
We all have used websites to book flights or hotels. Some of us have even downloaded applications such as Airbnb or trip.com. Digital travel guides are becoming more common. And of course, the maps, such as google maps, show the space in real-time specific establishments.
Do you write your travel experiences in a blog or Instagram account? Indeed more than one of us share our experiences on social media. If you have done any of those above, you are already part of the digital culture.
Five Technologies that Facilitate Tourism
Technological advance has shown us that anything is possible. Soon, innovations in the tourism industry will be at the level of Elon Musk, Branson, or Bezos. With hyperloop, cities, and space trips, we can visualize the ambitious scope of technological innovation.
A Smartphone is no longer a luxury; it is a necessity. Many activities require our phones. The mobile phone has made life easier for travelers; it can be a means of communication, calendar, map, tourist guide, among other functions. Thanks to the Smartphone’s Internet access and the wide range of apps. You can carry up your organized trip in your pocket. Many airlines, hotels, and destinations have their applications, where you can manage itineraries, check-in, and even travel guides.
Recommendations to Download on Your Mobile Before the Trip:
- Flights and accommodation: Trip.com, Booking, Kayak
- Accommodation: Airbnb, Trivago, Couchsurfing
- Translation: Google Translator, iTranslate, TripLingo
- Entertainment: Youtube, Netflix, Spotify, Kindle app, Audible, Play Books
- Travel guides: Google Trips, SAS Survival Guide, TripAdvisor
These are just some suggestions. Explore them; they all have different functions to help you organize yourself better. Social media can also add to your experience. Research your destination download the most recommended applications.
Internet of Things (IoT)
Virtual assistants like Alexa or Siri are a small sample of the IoT. Now an accommodation can be entirely operated by the internet, from opening windows to heating your coffee. This technology is transforming tourism, personalizing it more and more.
In hospitality, IoT made it possible to use a cellphone or smartwatches. Now you can open and close doors, regulate thermostats, even turn on electronic devices from your Smartphone. During transfers, add widgets to your suitcases to know their location in real-time. They can follow you while you walk! Some airlines already have IoT to move seats, order services, make purchases, among others.
Those who have been able to visit theme parks like Disneyland will know that they are the masters of technology. However, more tourist destinations offer this experience to their visitors. For example, Segovia, Spain, presented a project using 5G and virtual reality. They offer a tour of the city, where tourists can access historical scenes through their smartphones. Pure cutting-edge technology!
The hospitality industry already uses virtual reality as standard technology. 360° images are an excellent tool for showing clients the spaces, from rooms to common areas. Parks, museums, and galleries are getting into technologies for tourism.
Big Data collects user information online. So they can take personalized action on their experience and expectations. Knowing their activities and places, where they spend more time, can offer them suitable alternatives to their tastes.
According to American Express, 83% of millennial consumers appreciate personalized attention at airports and hotels. This technology helps the client optimize his time, which he considers a practical element for tourism.
Artificial Intelligence and Robots
Chatbots are common on pages for booking flights or accommodation. These technologies generate automatic information and interact with users. Some may find them annoying, but they find them a valuable and handy tool for the most part. This technology reduces the time to search for information on a website, making the customer’s visit more effective.
Robots are another technology introduced to tourism, mainly in hotel chains, airports, and restaurants.
They can answer questions about flights or take you to your room. According to a survey carried out by travelzoo.com, 80% of those surveyed consider that robots will play an essential role in the coming years.
KLM airline is an example of technologies applied to tourism. With their assistant Care-E, a trolley with autonomous driving. They serve their customers during their stay at the airport. Control your times, boarding gates, and take your luggage. This robot is available at J.F.K., San Francisco, and Schiphol, Amsterdam airports.
With these technologies applied to tourism, your trips will be an unforgettable experience. Take advantage of technologies as a source of information and support to travel. The pandemic continues, and we must not lower our guard. If you have a trip prepared soon, take advantage of the technologies; and review these tips to stay healthy.