Technology is no longer a single vector term used to indicate the growth of mobile phones and computers in our lives. Even though it started with binary digits and used algorithms to do most of our simplistic tasks, the concept has spread like wildfire and emerged as a hidden messiah for all major industries in the world.
Technology is now a mainstream aspect of reality and has invaded the travel sector as well. Whether you wish to book a flight ticket, compare the availability of hotels, or check the current weather of your travel destination, you can easily do it using a mobile phone. Gone are the days when you'd save a pamphlet and call the hotel desk for all necessary information. In a way, we all carry the world's data in our pockets!
The first question that pops up in our mind after reading this term is - what data are we talking about, and how big exactly is it? Well, data is the representation of facts, figures, and information. We have more than 40 zettabytes of data globally, out of which 90% have been created in the past two years. Mind-boggling, right?
The tourism industry generates a lot of data that can be used by travel agencies, hotels, or resorts to segregate the type of customers they receive and the best way to run marketing campaigns for them. By analyzing a traveller's demands or a destination's history, various travel sectors can aid the consumer's decision-making skills and provide them with options that they'd be happy to consider. As they say, Big Data holds all the answers!
Virtual Reality (VR)
The term might seem like an oxymoron but makes a lot of sense when analysed deeply. Here, virtual doesn't indicate fiction. Instead, it is a term used as "to have the effect of being such without actually being such." After invading the education and gaming industry, Virtual Reality has been adapted by the travel sector. It is ready to reduce the distance and change the face of our future vacations.
What if I tell you that it is possible to enjoy the landscape from a wooden cabin in the wilderness of Alaska by sitting in a different continent altogether? Or you could watch the dancing pattern of Northern Lights from Norway? Seems a lot magical and a tad unrealistic, right? But VR has spread its wings in the travel industry and given people a chance to teleport themselves anywhere within a matter of seconds. Don't believe us? Check out the Everest VR app and view the world from the summit of the highest mountain above sea level without having to move an inch from your sofa.
Internet of Things (IoT)
How do you know if you're contributing to IoT? Well, considering that you're reading this article on a chargeable device with internet connectivity, it is safe to say that IoT hasn't escaped your ecosystem. IoT is that bridge between the real and virtual world that eliminates human intervention and creates a wireless network for systemised collection and data transfer. Hardware sensors alone are responsible for the majority of technological advancements brought in the travel industry.
Because of IoT, you set your travel plans and book a flight ticket online, web check-in for your air travel, swipe a key to open your hotel door, and press a button to switch off the lights. IoT is another name for luxury in some parts, while some of the much-deserving regions of the nation are getting their due recognition and being replanned under the smart city program. It is also environment-friendly and helps the municipalities keep a check on air and water pollution.
When was the last time you spend a couple of hours without your smartphone or picked up an encyclopedia to learn something new instead of using Google? The answer may vary for different people, but there's no doubt in the fact that this little device in our hands carries more power than we realize. In a way, it's the next thing to a fairy's wand. Travelport's 2018 Digital Traveler Survey states that people end up using at least 13 apps while traveling!
Smartphone and its charger - 2 essentials you need before you even start packing your bags. After all, you need to check if your flight is delayed, follow real-time luggage tracking, book a cab from the airport to the hotel and make reservations for dinner after searching the town's trendiest chic restaurant. Not to forget, you need your smartphone's camera to preserve those precious memories and access social media to keep in touch with people back home. Hotels use back-end technology to keep their customers in the loop and send all pertinent information on their screens. What's more, you can even use your mobile in a key and remote place for the hotel room.
Simply putting, Blockchain is a digital ledger storing information on all transactions. It is distributed across a peer-to-peer network, and each record in the database is called a block. Its significance arises as the digital asset's origin remains unalterable via decentralization and cryptographic hashing. It is a secure and transparent way for people to exchange information. For example - Google Docs can be accessed by multiple people. Still, all changes are recorded in history with a timestamp so that people can find out the natural source of information.
When used in the tourism industry, Blockchain gives way for secure and traceable payment options. Blockchain is emerging as one of the most preferred payment modes. Blockchain ensures that the transfer of amount is instant and not up for any third-party's modification or intervention. It helps the hotel management staff and ensures the accuracy of consumer reviews. The travel industry can also use Blockchain to let its users earn reward points.
With technology intervention, the most challenging part of planning a vacation nowadays is convincing your friends rather than stressing over hotel bookings. You don't need to step out; look for a travel agent and book your flight ticket in person. Technology has paved the way for better customer satisfaction and secured every aspect of travel.