Living in the digital age means that our lifestyles have changed drastically in the last decade, and proof of these changes are everywhere. Advancements in technology are changing the ways we eat, work, communicate, and especially travel. Forbes states that the travel and tourism industry generated 10.4% of the world’s economic activity in 2018 alone, coming a close second only to the manufacturing industry. With so much income generated by travel, it’s only logical that the industry maximizes the available technology, and indeed even furthers the development in new tech in other aspects. Here are a few of the ways travel and tourism might change in the coming years.
Preparing to take a flight means allotting time for some of the most dreaded parts of traveling: immigration and security. With the development of biometrics technology, however, long lines at the airport may soon be a thing of the past. According to Condé Nast Traveler, experts say that in five years you might not even need your passport and boarding pass thanks to biometrics scanners. Facial recognition technology has been in use in airports around the U.S. since 2017, and use of the technology will only continue to grow worldwide.
Short Notice Bookings
The sharing economy has exploded in recent years, with apps like Airbnb and Uber transforming the landscape of international and domestic travel. Aviation JobNet reports that that culture is spreading into aviation, revealing that apps like Wheels Up are taking businesses by storm. Wheels Up is an Uber-like app for private bookings of airplanes, allowing for spontaneous bookings for personal and business travel at the drop of a hat. This immediacy of travel promises could promise to shake up the industry like Airbnb and Uber did, so interested travelers should definitely keep an eye out.
AI in the Hospitality Industry
Artificial intelligence (AI) has become a buzzword in recent years thanks to integration into nearly every aspect of our daily lives, including in the hotel and hospitality industry. Canadian estate agency Colliers International says that 73% of manual activities in the hospitality industry could be automated in 2025, including hotel front desks. Worldwide hotel chain Marriott International has even begun integrating Amazon’s Alexa for Hospitality in a few select hotels worldwide. With more hotel chains looking into the technology, automated front desks might be coming to your nearest hotel sooner rather than later.
While air travel has been at the forefront of travel in recent years, airlines might soon be coming face to face with competition on the ground. Travelers have long complained about long check-in lines and the hassle of waiting for a flight, but have settled for flying over the inconvenience of driving. New technology may provide consumers with a third option. In an article published in Fast Company, writers Stephen Rice and Scott Winter found that consumers are increasingly more attracted to the idea of driverless cars. While the length of the trip did affect respondents’ preferences, respondents overwhelmingly preferred driverless cars over manual driving, and the option of a self-driving car was found to make people less interested in flying.