How is modern technology changing the travel industry?

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How to make your journey easier? Can you rent a car under 25?  Travelers often ask these questions before they go on a trip. Fortunately, modern digital technologies are giving the green light to many travel opportunities.

How is modern technology changing the travel industry?

Today, renting a car under 25 is possible and easy during your trip. All you have to do is find a suitable car rental website and fill out a search form. What’s more, this is true not only for car rental, but also for booking tickets, trip planning, and other travel aspects. This suggests digitalization is firmly entering all spheres of our lives and particularly tourism.

The industry is changing under the influence of such global trends as personalization, automation, big data, artificial intelligence, and AR/VR. But how do they all affect our travels? Let’s look at this in more detail.

Online personalization

10-15 years ago, independent travel planning resulted in a complex process. After all, you had to buy tickets, book a hotel room, choose attractions to visit, and much more. You had to resort to the help of travel agencies. However, the time when only a qualified travel agent could provide an individual approach to the travelers’ needs is over. Modern technologies allow you to do everything yourself.

How is modern technology changing the travel industry?

Artificial intelligence

Today, only three clicks separate the traveler from the most profitable travel offer. Artificial intelligence and neural networks facilitate the choice of carrier services. Plus, they save time and effort when planning a trip.

At the same time, users place high demands on personalization. According to research, 88% of customers change booking services or travel companies if they can’t provide personalized offers.

Mobile technology

A high degree of personalization in ticket selection and customer support is becoming a trend in the international air travel market. For example, KLM was one of the first companies to use chatbots to send boarding passes and flight information to passengers via Facebook Messenger, SnapChat, WhatsApp, etc.

At the same time, such flight search engines as Hipmunk, Expedia, Skyscanner, Cheapflights, and Kayak have almost completely switched their customer support to chatbots. For example, Kayak not only sends automatic messages about flight delays and gate changes. Its AI bots can answer questions like ‘Where can I fly for $900’, or ‘What to do in Austin’.

How is modern technology changing the travel industry?

Machine learning

Many accuse artificial intelligence of some hype, but such an assistant is really useful in the field of transportation. It can independently book a ticket for the next flight if the current one was canceled. The system finds up-to-date offers according to the previous user’s selection.

For example, by processing its own data by AI algorithms, Kayak predicts price increases or decreases for various destinations and shares this information with users.

Hoteliers aren’t left out either – Hilton’s global network is using artificial intelligence to improve service levels. Their chatbot Connie helps hotel guests check-in without queuing and gives tips on the best sights.

Big data and multimodal transportation

The most active travelers of our time are millennials who tend to choose difficult travel routes. More than half of them prefer to stay side by side with locals, which they think is the best way to explore a new country. 

In practice, this means travelers are increasingly choosing multimodal flights and mixes of various modes of transport. Plus, they also want to save money.  The ideal modern tools for them are ticket booking services, which provide a huge choice of transport options and low rates.

How is modern technology changing the travel industry?

Multimodal planning

Today, technology is ready to provide the travel industry with flexible booking tools. You can get directions from point A to point B by plane, and then point C by train or rental car. A good example of a multimodal planning application is Rome2Rio.

The user simply indicates the start and end of the route and receives all available transportation options with approximate travel time and price. Rome2Rio offers many ways to travel – from planes and ships to trains, buses, taxis, and even walking routes. In addition, you can choose a hotel, learn about the sights, and rent a car in the selected region right from the app.

Big Data and AI algorithms

The technological basis for complex route planning is big data and AI algorithms. Services specializing in multimodal transportation collect up-to-date data from all available carriers, regularly updating schedules, ticket prices, departure times, etc.

By analyzing the data, the service sees the user’s personal preferences. Chatbots find out what types of transport a person chooses, and collect information about his family and fellow travelers. So, at the next booking, the service will take into account the already available data and select the most suitable options based on them. Thanks to AI algorithms, multimodal services can ensure high accuracy of connections, up to calling a taxi to a metro station at a certain time.

By the way, multimodality as technology has influenced the policy of airlines. For example, in 2019, Hawaiian, Emirates, TAP, Brussels Airlines, and Swiss began offering extended transit times. This allowed travelers to have more time to explore their destinations.

How is modern technology changing the travel industry?

Virtual and Augmented Reality

According to Greenlight, VR and AR technologies will become one of the main growth drivers for the travel market. Such tools can significantly influence the choice of users. For example, according to surveys in Germany, 62% of respondents use VR to plan their weekends.

At the same time, the Premier Inn hotel chain launched an augmented reality app that lets you bring a variety of locations to life on a map by pointing your smartphone at them. As a result, this allowed increasing the number of hotel customers by 5% without big expenses.

To sum up, technology is constantly evolving and changing the travel industry, and who knows what the future holds for us. However, the opportunities we have now allow us to make our trips easier and better!

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Lucy Bennett

Lucy Bennett is a Contributing Editor at iLounge. She has been writing about Apple and technology for over six years. Prior to joining iLounge, Lucy worked as a writer for several online publications.