The world is on the move….and more than ever and unlike before! People are not just travelling to holiday, but flying continents to explore work opportunities as well.
A latest report from WORLD TOURISM ORAGANISATION states that by 2030 more than 8.5 billion people across the globe will be taking more than 2 billion international trips. Not just travel, but even the travellers have progressed tremendously. And thus it was the need of the hour that industry transformed itself at the pace of the travellers. And there came technology to help enhance the industry in numerous ways from travel industry being just technology based to it progressing towards sustainability through technology.
“Yes, next-generation technologies are changing the way we travel, the way we use transport to travel as as well as various mobility options. For instance consider that very popular app which helps you choose and book hotels of choice in any part of the world. So with passing time, we aren’t just travelling faster (say through bullet trains in terms of speed technology) but also are fortunate to pick an accommodation that suits our comfort. Several tools and Apps that were just an imagination till few years back are life’s inseparable part! asserts Ramandeep Kaur, who used works as a service manager for one of the hotels associated at TRIVAGO in India.
And she is right. Smartphones, Artificial Intelligence, e-payments, social media and so on have, for better or worse, all these have affected and impacted the way we travel in incalculable ways.
In short, burgeoning digital technology has directly impacted the consumption behaviours and the travel sector has advanced tremendously due to this. For the common person Ramandeep Kaur lists these changes in consumer behaviour as below:
A) Present-day consumer demands immediacy of result, be it booking a trip or an accommodation
B) Consumers expect a seamless experience when interacting with brands (And here messaging App, e-mails, video calls etc have played a great role)
C) Customers respond extremely positively to personalised content and services.
Thus, we can say the advancement in technology is a result of the above demand and related change in travel patterns.
And following are the SIX WAYS IN WHICH TECHNOLOGY HAS TRANSFORMED THE WAY WE TRAVEL….backed by six travel freaks!
Technology made travelling less time-consuming more environmentally friendly
40-year-old Sumon D’Costa, a wildlife photographer from Goa, who is based in Chicago these days, writes to me, ” Gone are the days when we needed a printed ticket. And e-ticket saves not just time but paper, which is so eco-friendly. And we no longer worry about forgetting that ticket behind! This is a win-win situation. Online reservations and bookings are a boon for travellers like me who are in one part of the world today and the next tomorrow. Moreover, it is a super boon for senior citizens – they no longer have to stand in the queues, till eternity, waiting for their turn to do a reservation!”
Technology means a Squeezed Baggage!
30-year-old Bella Jonas Dallas informs me, ” I love the way technology has squeezed my backpack. For instance, I can’t travel without music and few good books. Earlier that meant some 5kg of extra luggage. But now I have an iPad where I can listen to global music through tons of App; and reads a zillion books through Kindle! Isn’t that great. One 200 gram gadget vs 5kg of luggage! Now that’s what I call technology transforming the way we travel,” chuckles Bella.
Technology has Helped Us Break Language Barriers
25-year-old Charmaine Charles is a food blogger. She travels across the world to try our different cuisines and write about them. Earlier she used to share the money she earned with a translator. But now, the story is different, “Mahima, every nation more-so-over, that I have travelled in the last three years, has an app to translate English to their native language and that too with an Audio. So that has made my life much easier. plus now you also have Google Translator or iTranslate or Apps like Duolingo that allow you to learn a new language or improve the one you are already familiar with, all this without spending money on classes or human translators.”
Chatbots – A Perfect Travel Companion
Several hotels and flight operators already offer messaging options to their customers. They either give them access to text them through their own apps or establish messaging channels like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. But the real revolution is CHATBOTS— they are becoming huge assets to the travel industry. How, lets hear from another travel expert.
56-year-old Galvin Sheron Martin, a senior manager at a resort at the Gold Coast in Australia writes to me, ” Chatbots allow a person to interact with either a human or artificial intelligence via a chat interface. Bearing in mind that messaging apps are becoming the new social media, it only makes sense that companies start to integrate this type of services in their repertoire.”
Let me explain it in simpler words. A CHATBOT for instance connects the guests to the hotel staff through Facebook Messenger. Artifical Intelligence then allows the CHATBOT to answer commonly put up queries – like rates, availability, etc and then confirms the booking directly on messenger. One such chatbot is HiJiffy. But what if the chatbot can’t answer a question? Well, then it hands over the query to a human agent who resolves your issues. But the chatbots that are being developed for the future are expected to give 90% success rate without human assistance required.
Electronic Payments mean Safer & Easier Travel
72-year-old Robin McCune is a travel enthusiast who spent his entire life at a bank. Post retirement he made it a point to make up for the time her missed being with his wife and family, by ensuring that he takes three-to-four holidays a year. A very happy Robin tells me on a WhatsApp call, “Mahima, I will be travelling to India soon. And times have changed so much in the last 16 years! I don’t have to carry cash or even lots of credit or debit cards. PayPal and other Apps have made my life so much easier. I don’t have to worry about a theft or a fraud. it is so much convenient for a senior citizen like me.” And I agree, this joy of safety and easier travel applies to not just a senior citizen like him, but to each one of us.
Technology means Personalised & Unique Experiences
Here come Jasvinder Kaur from Rajasthan who and her husband by the same first name, are big time travel enthusiasts. The couple in their fifties is an inspirational globe trotter not just for holidays, but to expand their ready-made garments business. “Right from GoPro for an underwater shoot with Dolphins or say a Drone with prior permissions and permits, we have canned amazing memories in all possible ways we can,” says a very upbeat Jasvinder, who aims to be a travel blogger at this age! Hats off to her spirit and that of the advancing technology.
So what’s your story of travel-technology and its boon for you? Don’t forget to share with us firstname.lastname@example.org