Tourism Technology in 2021

2nd August, 2021

Published by Hamish Kerry

With the tourism industry still feeling the fully amplified effects of COVID-19, and holiday maker numbers turbulent at best, we’re taking a look at some of the most important technological advancements for travel firms, hoteliers and tourists to take advantage of.

Voice Based Interaction


As far as technology advancements in the travel sector are concerned, smartphones, smart speakers, and AI assistants have all contributed to enhance the relevancy of voice search, which is increasingly being used by travellers to discover and buy airline tickets, hotel rooms, and travel experiences. As a result, designing your digital services with voice search in mind is critical if you want to take advantage of this.

Furthermore, voice control is becoming more prevalent in real-world travel situations. Consider deploying Alexa skills in your hotel room smart speakers, to reduce contact between guests and surfaces such as lightswitches and thermostats. Or utilise the technology to provide your guests with morning updates about tourist attractions, forecasts and local news.

All things AI Chatbots

AI-powered chatbots are one of the most cost-effective travel technology investments you can make, since they can give consumers quick responses to inquiries 24 hours a day, seven days a week, regardless of employee availability. This may now even be a necessity in order to meet contemporary customer service standards.

Typically, these chatbots perform best when responding to popular inquiries with conventional responses. However, as AI technology develops, current chatbots continue to improve as they engage with more people, they're becoming increasingly adept at answering questions regarding COVID policies, as well as safety and hygiene precautions. In employing chatbots, you’re able to reduce enquiry load at the front desk, and promote an on-demand, personalised mindset for all of your customers and guests.

Not only are chatbots a great solution for meeting the needs of your guests, they also provide incredibly rich data on customer decision making, giving your marketing team insights into how to better orientate your digital landscape to answer key questions prior to guests booking.

Robots

One of the most fascinating kinds of travel technology is the continuously developing robotics industry. Robots have been employed in concierge-like tasks in hotels, for example, assisting with greeting visitors and providing information for some years now, however, many hotels have gone even further with their use, including cleaning and luggage handling in their repertoire.

Robots might eventually have a part in food preparation and serving in restaurants. They can be used to identify concealed weapons in airports, and some manufacturers are developing baggage bags that intelligently track you. In reaction to COVID, like with many other technology advancements in the travel sector, the employment of robots has risen owing to their ability to reduce face to face interaction.

While some major players in the travel and tourism industry have taken advantage of the likes of Softbank's Pepper and NAO concierge robots, asset price point is a huge barrier to entry for smaller firms. Nevertheless, they do provide an exciting case study on how the future of travel is becoming increasingly robotised.



Contactless Payments

Accepting contactless payments is another key feature of tourism technology. This would enable travel businesses to process payments considerably faster, even when clients do not have access to cash or their credit or debit card. Because it is time saving, it may also improve the client experience. Contactless payments may have begun life as a convenience, but in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, they have become a critical component of everyday life. Many travellers are hesitant to touch currency because they are concerned about the virus spreading, and so by reducing the level of contact patrons have with cash, you’re putting their mind further at ease when it comes to the hygiene of your establishment.


Image courtesy of Jonas Leupe

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