Travel is evolving, thanks to new and more sophisticated technologies. These breakthroughs make it easier to both travel and stay connected during that travel. With lower prices, streamlined traveling experiences, greater convenience for travelers, and higher productivity, everyone with travel plans has something to enjoy.
But how exactly did we get here, and where does the world of interconnected travel technology go from here?
Technology and Travel
Whether you’re going to a different country for business or as part of a destination wedding, it pays to know the best-connected tech for the experience.
Certain travel companies and related institutions are integrating more technologies into their products and services. This allows you to take advantage of these opportunities to save money, save time and ultimately get a better overall experience. Some technologies will enable you to make your travel more comfortable and more convenient, even when you’re a mere passenger on an airplane or a bus.
What types of technology are changing the way we travel?
Bookings and Information
If you grew up before the 2000s, you probably had at least one experience with a real travel agent. Your travel agent was a person whose entire job was to help you book travel accommodations.
These days, the role of the travel agent is practically obsolete. Instead, you can find information and book travel arrangements online in a matter of minutes.
While this technology isn’t necessarily new, it has caused a sub-industry to almost collapse — and it’s changed how we think about travel.
Chatbots and Customer Service
Are you having trouble finalizing your ticket purchases? Or are you not sure what to do next? Don’t worry – someone can help you.
But that “someone” is probably an automated chatbot. Love it or hate it, most travel companies have integrated sophisticated chatbots into their customer service strategy, enabling them to serve more people in less time while minimizing costs and keeping human staff to a minimum.
This trend is likely to continue, with even more forms of automated customer service in the works.
Satellite internet has made some incredible leaps forward in recent years. As a traveler, that gives you one great advantage: better in-flight Wi-Fi.
Airplane Wi-Fi relies on satellite internet to keep travelers connected. If you’re willing to pay the premium, you can enjoy a much faster, more reliable streaming connection when traveling.
Sterilization and Hygiene
The COVID-19 pandemic wasn’t good for the travel business, but it did lead to some interesting technological breakthroughs. As a result, airlines, cruise ships, and other travel businesses are making more proactive investments in connected tech designed for sterilization and hygiene.
For example, in many locations, you can now find particular types of UV lights that kill microorganisms floating in the air. It gives customers a better sense of safety and security. It also reduces the spread of infectious diseases and improves health outcomes.
Remote and Hybrid Workplaces
Connected technology isn’t always a good thing for the travel industry.
For example, better technology has allowed us to create more remote and hybrid workplaces where people aren’t required to be in physical locations to interact with each other. When your business can handle almost everything in the form of video calls and teleconferences, its travel needs plummet.
As a result, total business travel is down, and travel companies are looking for ways to incentivize businesspeople to travel again.
Data Analytics and AI
Big data has been huge for the travel industry. These days, major travel companies can understand the dynamics of every customer they acquire, studying their travel patterns, understanding their demographic-based behaviors, and even predicting what each customer will do next.
As a result, marketing and advertising have become more personalized, recommendations have become more specific, and companies have generated meaningful insights that have led to substantial internal change.
Predictions for the Future of Travel and Connected Tech
What does the future hold for connected tech in the travel industry? It’s hard to predict the future, but we can imagine the following:
Automation is one of the most powerful forms of technology for businesses to consider. Once integrated, it has the capacity to do the work of many different people, saving significant money and increasing consistency and efficiency at the same time.
Not all automation technologies are perfect, and some people still prefer the experience of talking to another human being when making travel arrangements or during the travel itself. Still, for the most part, automation is a net good. The main limiting factor for automation is its level of sophistication; right now, only some tasks are worth automating.
For others, the task complexity is too high for automation to reasonably handle. In the near future, automation will only improve, meaning we’ll see more forms of automation embedded in our travel experiences from start to finish.
More ML and AI.
Machine learning and artificial intelligence are technologies with similar purposes and are often used to help companies and individuals see better results. These technologies are constantly growing more sophisticated, with a broader range of capabilities and more sheer power.
As long as this advancement trend continues, we will probably see machine learning and artificial intelligence used in more applications. As a result, consumers will get more specific recommendations, and travel company problems will become much easier to resolve.
Across many different industries, companies are optimizing their products and services. They’re doing this to provide more individualized experiences to those buying from them.
In the travel industry, this could take the form of more personalized recommendations, more customizable experiences, and better, individual-centric customer service. As long as companies can gather adequate data to better understand their customers on an individual level — better technology will be able to make this a reality.
Higher cost efficiency.
Most travel companies are trying to operate as profitably as possible. That means increasing cost efficiency with the use of novel technologies.
There are infinite potential applications of technology in this area, from more efficient means of propulsion for vehicles to AI-generated recommendations for how to make the most of a given physical space.
In any case, we’ll likely see travel companies operating leaner and more efficiently, leading to both higher profits and lower costs for consumers.
Industry resilience and flexibility.
The COVID-19 pandemic was a major wake-up call for travel companies, especially airlines. This Black Swan event disrupted the industry for more than a year, causing catastrophic losses and significant logistical problems.
To prevent this scale of disruption in the future, more travel companies are going to invest in technologies that allow the industry to become more resilient and more flexible in the face of unforeseeable developments.
Have you ever wanted more updates about your travel plans in real-time? We will likely see a push for this in the near future.
With the help of the right connected tech, users can sign up to get real-time updates on every step of the travel process. This often includes notifications about lines at security to warnings of potential delays.
New business models.
Thanks to new technologies, we might see entirely new business models emerge as well.
Consider how disruptive the ride-sharing model was when Uber first landed; people were so used to taxis they had trouble conceiving of a better way to travel around a city reliably. It’s only a matter of time before a new, truly disruptive business model emerges to change the way we travel.
One thing is certain. The travel industry isn’t going to remain the same for long. Connected technology has already significantly impacted how we travel and think about travel. As technology gets better and more advanced, these changes will only compound.
Featured Image: Haley Black; Pexels.com. Thank you!