Global business is rapidly changing and includes new technologies, business tools and management techniques. Tourism industry has already adopted new lines of business tools and technology needed to manage the important aspects of running a B&B, hotel or tourism business. Understanding the basics of different types of tourism business tools and technology can help you to make informed decisions on how to increase your revenue with minimal cost.
At the pace of technology development, there are many new innovations in tourism industry. Our blog helps you to stay updated about technologies used in tourism industry. Check out the latest technology trends and business tools, terms and concepts in hospitality industry 2021
Voice Search & Voice Control
Smartphones, smart speakers and AI assistants have all helped to increase the relevance of voice search as far as technology trends in the travel industry are concerned. In particular, a growing number of travel customers are using voice search to find and book airline tickets, hotel rooms and travel experiences.
It is, therefore, crucial to design your website with voice search in mind, so that you can capitalise on this trend.
On top of this, voice control is also playing a growing role in actual travel experiences too. Within hotel rooms, voice-controlled devices can be used to control lighting and heating within rooms, or to obtain tourist information without needing to speak to a member of staff. This is likely to continue to expand into other areas of the industry too.
Robotics technology is one of the most exciting forms of travel technology and it is constantly improving. Within hotels, for example, robots have been used in concierge-like roles, helping to greet guests when they arrive and provide information. Some hotels have expanded their use further still, involving them in cleaning and luggage handling.
Within restaurants, robots can potentially have a role in food preparation and food service. In airports, they can be used to detect concealed weapons, while some manufacturers are also using robotics to create luggage cases that intelligently follow you. Moreover, travel agents are using robots for pre-screening, making waiting times more productive for customers.
As with many other technology trends within the travel industry, the uses for robots have actually increased in response to COVID, especially as they have the potential to reduce human-to-human contact.
Another important form of travel tech is the ability to accept contactless payments. This will allow travel companies to process payments much more quickly, including in situations where customers do not have access to cash, or their credit or debit card. It can also enhance the customer experience, because it is a time saver.
The availability of contactless payments started as a convenience, but it has emerged as a key part of tourism marketing in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. With travellers nervous about the spread of the virus, many are reluctant to handle cash. Using contactless payments as much as possible can also protect your own staff.
Virtual Reality (VR)
Virtual reality has been an emerging technology in a number of different sectors, but its role within the tourism industry is especially significant. After all, it provides travellers with the ability to experience far away locations from the comfort of their own home, and can be the difference in whether they ultimately complete a booking.
Using VR tours, customers can experience everything from virtual hotels tours and restaurants, to landmarks, national parks or even specific activities. The interactivity and immersion can also help to provide you with a competitive advantage over rivals who are not yet making the most of these kinds of tech trends. Most VR tours or 360 tours are now compatible with mainstream web browsers and can help those who are reluctant to travel due to COVID to see the benefits more clearly.
AI-powered chatbots can be one of the single most sensible travel technology investments you can make, because these chatbots are able to provide customers with swift answers to questions on a 24/7 basis, regardless of staff availability. This can be essential for living up to current expectations on customer service.
Typically, these chatbots are at their best when answering common questions, which have standard answers. Yet, advances to AI technology mean modern chatbots continually improve as they have more and more interactions. They can also be especially good at responding to queries about COVID policies and safety or hygiene measures.
Cybersecurity is a major focus area for those in travel management roles, because companies in the industry are increasingly at risk from cyber-attacks and also more vulnerable to data breaches of other kinds. Travel companies are a major target, because they employ lots of people and have access to an abundance of customer data.
Some of the biggest threats in this area include phishing attacks and ransomware attacks, although the modern reliance on data also leaves companies at risk from human error caused by their own employees too. This requires investment in cybersecurity training and various hardware and software solutions to keep your business safe.
It is also important to keep up with the latest regulations and to comply with data protection laws.
Internet of Things (IoT)
One of the most exciting emerging travel technology trends is the Internet of Things (IoT), which involves internet-based interconnectivity between everyday devices, allowing them to both send and receive data. Already, we are seeing examples of its role within the travel and tourism industry and this is only going to increase.
For instance, IoT technology can be used in hotel rooms to provide customers with a device that connects to everything from the lights, to the heaters and air conditioning, allowing all to be controlled from one place. In airports, meanwhile, luggage cases can be installed with sensors that will alert passengers when they pass by.
Finally, recognition technology is especially interesting within this list of key tech trends, due to its potential for removing friction from purchases and making interactions seamless. The technology itself includes fingerprint recognition, facial recognition, retina scanning and various other biometric identifiers.
Such technology is already being used in some hotels to allow access to rooms via fingerprints or to allow for semi-contactless check-outs. However, in the future, it is hoped that this technology may be able to allow customers to pay for meals in the hotel restaurant simply by walking through the exit.
Augmented Reality (AR)
Augmented reality is similar to virtual reality, but involves augmenting a person’s real surroundings, rather than replacing them. One of the major plus points of this particular technological trend is that it is cheaper than VR, with users requiring only a smartphone or tablet device which has access to the internet.
Through graphical overlays, those in the tourism industry can greatly enhance the customer experience, providing customers with valuable information or even pure entertainment. For instance, apps can allow for photographs to be augmented through filters and effects. Details about local destinations can also be displayed as a customer points their smartphone at them, providing information at the exact time that it is most relevant.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Away from robots, artificial intelligence is being used in other ways too. Perhaps the most obvious use within the travel and tourism industry is for customer service purposes, with chatbots possessing the ability to deliver rapid response times to problems or queries. It is also able to continuously learn from interactions with customers.
In addition, hotels and other companies operating in the tourism industry can make use of artificial intelligence to accurately and continuously sort through data. It will be able to draw conclusions about business performance or trends associated with customer satisfaction, and even intelligently manage inventories.
In modern tourism management, big data is a fact of life, and almost all companies that are successful employ their own data collection techniques. One of the biggest uses for this data is to improve personalisation, with travel companies using the information they gather to make specific adjustments to their offerings.
Another valuable use of data is to analyse current business performance. In particular, hotel owners can use big data for revenue management purposes, using historic occupancy rates and other past trends to better anticipate levels of demand. When demand is predictable, pricing and promotional strategies can also be optimised.
Mobile check-in hospitality tech is another important area to give consideration to, because it can help to improve the customer experience at the point of their initial arrival. This is especially beneficial, because first impressions can have a huge bearing on how customers ultimately feel about their visit or stay.
Crucially, mobile check-ins swerve the need for face-to-face customer interactions, meaning customers can potentially have greater flexibility in terms of when they check-in. This ties in with wider contactless technology trends within the hospitality industry, and can be especially welcome for those who are nervous about COVID.
The biggest tech trends for tourism businesses. Do you feel like your tech game is slipping? From tech-savvy travelers to tech-driven hotels, this report looks at the tech trends, apps and software that will be emerging in hospitality over the next 12 months. It unveils the tech that will be redefining how hotels work with their guests, guests work with their destinations and how travel brands can stay ahead of the curve.