Travel and technology are two industry sectors notorious for developing at a rapid pace. New innovations or services are often entering the market and making headlines; so when the two industries collide there is naturally a lot of buzz around the news.
For those of us in the travel industry, 2016 is a very exciting year. We're one month in and already the fever around what new travel tech will become available in the near future is high. For decades, the future of travel has been speculated upon – from spaceships to teleporters, there has been no end to the science-fiction inspired predictions – but it is only in the last couple of years that these crazy ideas have become attainable.
1. Let's start with those giants of travel tech: airlines.
Airline providers have always been at the forefront of the latest technology to ensure planes and passengers are as safe as can be. Over the coming months, it seems that whilst safety will remain a top priority, technology will also be used to help with efficiency. Think virtual reality and eye-tracking technology to help queues move faster and to help with speedy check-in. Airline staff may begin wearing VR headsets to assess the needs of passengers and quickly identify problems that require resolving.
1. Next up: accommodation.
The hotel industry has been really shaken up with the proliferation of providers such as Airbnb and other similar services. Traditional hotel chains are having to shake up their marketing in order to lure customers away from these other appealing alternatives. Some hotel chains are expanding into the BLeisure (that's business-meets-leisure) sector, offering a unique mix of services for travellers looking for a combination of both during their stay. Services like mobile concierge, self-check-in and a smart guest experience will become the norm.
3. Finally: personalisation of content.
Content is a massive marketing buzzword; but when it comes to the travel industry businesses are having to take things a step further and embrace the science fiction predictions of the past. Travellers now expect to have all kind of content – articles, images and videos – accessible on various devices, from smartphones to wearables and VR headsets. They also expect content to be personalised for them, with mobile apps from travel brands recognising their travel preferences and sending content based on this.
As the months roll by we're sure even more travel tech trends will come to light, but for now the above three examples seem far removed from science-fiction predictions, they are real-life possibilities.