Both the travel and technology industries tend to evolve at a rapid pace, so when they combine it can be a bit of a whirlwind. Travel technology is constantly changing, and it looks like the remainder of this year is due to be just as disruptive. A recent post on Travolution lists some of the biggest changes to travel tech predicted to make an impact this summer:
Hotels to get techy
In what is a hyper-connected world, the accommodation industry is going to have to ensure they give customers what they want, otherwise they could suffer a potential online backlash. Hotel chains seeking to get to know their customers better and get closer to them need to ensure they have the right tech in place to do that; they need to be active in their quest for guests against the likes of Airbnb, HomeAway and other alternative accommodation booking sites.
The type of tech needed to compete includes the basics like online booking and check-in, but also things like mobile concierge services, keyless rooms, a smart/eco guest experience and integrated activities.
Providing the personal touch
Although guests crave connectivity, they also crave personalisation – which can be hard to deliver. Travel companies need to become accustomed to gathering data from the technology they already have in place to create insightful profiles of their customers and understand exactly what it is they expect from their travel providers – whether it be a hotel, airline or provider of a specific experience.
Personalising email campaigns or sending out targeted offers are two simple ways to offer customers a personalised service, but travel companies need to tread the line between being personal and intrusive.
Google to become a travel agent
Finally, it seems the search engine giant that is Google is also seeking to cash-in on the expanding travel tech market by launching Destinations – their own version of a travel search and booking site. By simply typing "destination" or "vacation" in after a continent, country or state name, Google will automatically show a collage of options regarding flight and hotel prices. A budget, date preferences and the number of those travelling can all be included in the search, acting like a fully-fledged travel agent.
Google is hoping to change the habits of travellers the world over and get them using the search site for all their travel needs – and after synthesising all its existing data on airfare and hotels over the last few years, travel companies may need to watch out...!