Do you know how travel will evolve between now and 2024? Well, metasearch website Skyscanner has recently released a set of predictions on how the travel industry will change over the next decade. The data suggests that ten years ahead the next generation digital technology will completely transform the way people plan, book and enjoy their trip. Among these technologies are wearable devices, like Sony SmartWatch, Samsung Galaxy Gear and Google Glass, as well as artificial intelligence (AI) and semantic search.
In 2024 the travel sector is predicted to benefit from voice and gesture controlled tools which will provide people with results related to their actions, either vocal or based on their movements. Travel firms will also be able to create profiles based on travellers' previous preferences or intent and as a result return the most relevant results. If a traveller's history suggests that they prefer a hotel that is located near the beach, this information will be automatically placed at the top of the results.
Travel companies will have the ability to implement online semantic and intuitive tools which will be familiar with the traveller's preferences, like, for example, if they are a regular business traveller, if they take only hand luggage or if they prefer four-star hotels, says Filip Filipov, head of B2B at Skyscanner. Furthermore, virtual reality devices will allow users to test out their dream trip in 3D before their departure, Filipov suggests.
Skyscanner also predicts that wearables will evolve to such an extent that their size will be small enough to fit onto a contact lens and they will be able to translate different languages immediately.
Over the next five years, all that Google Glass is now capable of will be possible on a contact lens and by the end of the next ten years advanced wearables will become the norm, says Dr Ian Yeoman, travel futurologist and associate professor of Tourism Futures at New Zealand's Victoria University of Wellington.
The Skyscanner study also suggests that by the end of 2017 Google will be shipping 6 million Google Glass units annually.
And yet, with all of these disruptive developments, rather than replacing holidays entirely, virtual reality will provide travellers with the opportunity to try their vacation before they book and pay for it. Testing will allow people to dive on the Great Barrier Reef by simply using technology like Oculus Rift, a virtual reality headset for 3D gaming.