Travel is something we all love to do. Whether we’re hitting the road for a business trip or going on an adventure for family vacation, it’s always fun to experience new places and cultures.
Of course, given the current state of the world, one thing we must take into consideration is how COVID-19 will impact the future of travel. Then, thinking more innovatively, we should ask ourselves, “how will technology impact the future of travel?”
Luckily, as technology continues to advance, there will be more opportunity to integrate it into both the industry as a whole and utilize these advancements as travelers. Here are a few ways that technology will impact the future of travel - both for the industry and individuals.
For the Travel Industry
The travel industry has adapted throughout the years to capitalize on advancements in how we travel. From the advent of ships and the creation of the railroads, all the way to the development of air travel, the industry has been able to innovate and evolve.
As technology continues to improve, the travel industry will be able to adopt, innovate and utilize modern technologies to provide an even better experience.
Internet access has become a necessity. It’s how we get directions, research information, do our online banking and so much more. In order to make your customers travel experience more enjoyable, become a Solis affiliate and offer global WiFi access.
Not only will customers appreciate the offering, but your business will also be able to develop an additional revenue stream with healthy profit margins. Plus, you’ll have an advantage over competitors who aren’t offering such comprehensive technology.
As COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and the general public begins traveling, many are going to have questions about safety measures as well as other general questions they had pre-pandemic. All segments of the industry need to be ready to handle the influx of customer queries. This is where utilizing the digital workforce becomes handy.
Automating a portion of your employee base will help your human employees focus on other, more involved tasks. While they’re focusing on higher-level jobs, your digital workforce can handle basic chatbot FAQs with predetermined answers based on the questions asked. This frees up time and prevents tedium for your human employees, creating a happier and more productive workplace.
One way for the industry to combine their pandemic response with the utilization of technology is by capitalizing on the contactless trend that many are working toward. In fact, use of contactless technology can help build guests’ trust all across the industry.
This technology can be used in airports, train stations, and hotels to reduce the amount of interaction and touchpoints; reducing the virus’ opportunity to spread further. All travelers need is the organization’s corresponding app on their smartphone and they’ll have the ability to check-in and pay for services all in the palm of their hand.
As members of the travel industry, we should look to fellow businesses to see how we can all advance our customers' experience and help keep them safe. One expert use of technology to change business is Hilton Hotels Digital Key feature.
To access Digital Key, you must be a member of the Hilton Honors Program, thus giving incentive for more people to join. From there, visitors simply download an app and will gain access to their hotel room via a tap on their phone. This innovation helps keep staff and guests safe while showcasing the company’s commitment to improvement and innovation, no matter the circumstance.
With COVID-19 still prevalent, the health and safety of travelers has become a hot topic that needs an immediate solution. One way to mitigate the risk of infected travelers is by utilizing thermal screening to identify them. In particular, airports are testing out thermal technology to identify those traveling with COVID-19 during the pandemic.
Making use of existing thermal technology can help the travel industry mitigate risk of infected travelers spreading illness to fellow guests, employees, and other parts of the country and/or world.
For Individual Travelers
As technology advances, more gadgets are created to make life easier. For travelers, this means making your journey more convenient. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, here are some of the tools you should pack next time you hit the road.
Multiple Capability Hotspot
As mentioned previously, internet access has become a necessity. Whether your journey takes you within the country or outside it, you want to make sure you’re covered. The Solis X WiFi Smartspot gives you the internet access you need, wherever you are, and offers a number of other useful travel features.
Not only will you be able to connect to the internet, you’ll have the ability to add multiple devices. Plus, it is chargeable and acts as a power bank in case your phone runs low while you’re out and about with no outlet in sight. There are also remote camera and smart assistant capabilities, so you can capture your favorite moments and perform actions with a tap.
Luggage can be useful in ways beyond holding your belongings because of technology integration. Away’s Bigger Carry-On, for example, offers plenty of convenience for both casual and frequent travelers, while also delivering in compliance.
The Battery version offers a removable battery that can charge a phone four times, is TSA-approved and safe to bring on planes. For the carry-on itself, there is a TSA-approved lock, interior compression to help fit your belongings inside, and a hidden laundry bag to separate your dirty and clean clothes. Plus, it comes in a variety of colors making it easily identifiable.
Wearable technology has greatly advanced since the first FitBit came out in September 2009. Over a decade later, there are plenty of smartwatches on the market, so you want to do some research and find the best one for your needs.
First, you want to make sure it’s compatible with your smartphone since the two devices need to be synced to operate. Next, you should take all of the device’s features into account. If you are looking for something fitness-based, you’ll want a more basic smartwatch. However, if you want something more comprehensive that includes GPS, mobile payment, and more, then you’ll need a more inclusive version.
We want to actually experience our travel destination as much as possible. Luckily, instead of having to carry a phone and view your destination through a phone’s camera, there is a new option available.
Spectacles by Snapchat puts video and photo technology into a pair of sunglasses. This allows you to get a full visual experience in person, while still capturing those memories on film. There are three different versions available, so you can compare features to see which is right for your needs.
Sometimes your travels can take you by surprise, especially if you end up in a less than satisfactory location. Or, you’re an outdoorsy type who prefers a remote location. Whichever situation you find yourself in, having a safe way to drink water is extremely important. With this in mind, the Grayl Ultralight Compact Purifier Bottle is the travel companion you need for every journey.
This amazing water bottle utilizes filtration technology to make any water safe to drink. Yes, this includes water from your hotel room’s sink, from the nearby fountain, and fresh water from lakes or streams. The best part is you can get 300 uses before needing to change the filter and you’ll save money (and the environment) by not having to buy bottled water for your travels.
Whether you’re a travel industry representative or an individual traveler, you should be making the most of the technology available. As tech continues to grow and advance, it will have an even greater impact on travel as a whole. The key for the travel industry is to stay in tune with these advancements, innovate as they become available and be an industry leader in using tech to help your guests. For travelers, it means taking advantage of what’s available to make your journey easier and more enjoyable.