The travel industry has embraced new tech and trends with gusto in recent years. You name it, it’s been trialled: artificial intelligence, virtual reality, the internet of things, robots, augmented reality, chatbots, recognition tech, personalization…you get the idea.
I just had the pleasure of attending a WiTT (Women in Telecoms and Technology) event in London, designed to educate and enhance women's careers by sharing lessons and experiences learned in members’ career development. The event focused on travel technology trends.
CWT’s Chief Technology Officer Andrew Jordan joined a panel of industry experts who delved into the tech trends they’ve pegged to reshape the travel sector.
1. Virtual reality
People have been talking about virtual reality for years, but it hasn’t exactly taken the world by storm as it was predicted to back in the early naughties. Adoption as a consumer product has largely been driven by gaming, but other industries are increasingly realizing its potential. It was clear that the adoption of VR tech in travel is still in its infancy, but a growing number of applications have been identified, such as virtual tours, VR team meetings, and as a training tool. VR’s been pegged as a big winner for the travel industry.
2. Green transportation
Clean technology for greener transport was flagged as a trend to look out for. Electric vehicles got special mention, as the tech has made huge strides since its introduction. These are more popular than ever, but emission-free automobiles still have their shortcomings.
We’re not quite there yet in terms of this tech being widely accessible and affordable for everyone, but keep your eyes peeled and you’ll probably start to notice more electric vehicles on the roads over coming years as infrastructure to support the tech rolls out, and as costs to produce these cars and batteries decreases.
Travel has become an inherently personal experience, and today’s travelers don’t just want a personalized experience, they expect it. Data is the key, and using traveler data to deliver services according to preference. Do you avoid weekend travel, do you prefer aisle-seats, do you have any dietary requirements? You can expect to see the trip planning process become less fragmented, and more tailored to your needs and preferences as a traveler. Now, with advancing tech and AI by our side, we are leading clients towards an easier and simpler corporate travel experience.
When I think back 10 years to the clunky laptop and chunky blackberry I was using, it’s amazing to think how far we have come. I’m excited to see where the next 10 years will take us. Bring on more VR, green transportation, and hyper-personalization.
As Andrew Jordan so aptly put it, “Let’s see what the future holds.”