Travel Trends For 2018
Over the years, we’ve seen the rise of travellers who are choosier than ever before. While they may certainly be more adventurous and open to new experiences, they are also incredibly sure about the level of interaction and assistance that they’re looking for. We’re seeing trends like adventure travel, experiential travel, bleisure (Business + leisure) travel etc. becoming buzzwords in the travel industry.
What does this mean for the travel industry? For one thing, it’s clear that providing the level of customization and convenience that travellers seek is impossible without embracing technology. It is something that travellers today seek and expect across the travel lifecycle right from deciding where to go.
Already, a recent study on travel trends revealed that 35 to 40% of all holidays were booked entirely on a mobile phone in 2017. And while on holiday, the mobile phone often becomes a sole reference item for ideas, places to visit, reaching the destination, eating, shopping and sharing on social media.
But apart from mobility and online bookings, which travellers have come to expect as standard, there are some major technology trends that we can expect to transform travel in 2018.
Virtual Reality (VR)
Virtual reality has the potential to allow the travel industry to provide truly immersive experiences to travellers right from the decision stage. What to experience deep-sea diving in the Bahamas before you book the tickets? Want to really ‘see’ your hotel room to check how big the bed is? VR can make this a reality for travellers. It can be a great marketing tool for tour operators and activity providers. Experiencing something over VR will beat any video or brochure hands down!
AI and Chat-bots
AI such as chatbots has the potential to transform various aspects of travel right from bookings and reservations to customer care. What’s more chatbots can also potentially work as highly effective tour guides too. Given that chatbots can be trained to effectively mimic human behaviour and draw from existing data, it holds immense promise for the travel industry as a tool to enhance traveller experience while managing costs. While it may never completely replace human interaction, it can certainly augment it to a very large extent.
In conjunction with chatbots, voice search is another area that the travel industry can leverage in 2018.
While IoT and Smart devices have been buzzwords in hospitality for a couple of years now, 2018 may just be the year that its impact becomes mainstream. Given the immense scope for personalisation that IoT brings on, it will definitely have a big impact. From allowing guests to control their room temperature and lighting via their smart phones even before checking in, to blinds that close themselves when the sun hits to selecting TV channels remotely, the applications of IoT in hospitality are almost infinite.
For the travel industry, these trends not only allow for a superior and differentiated customer experience, they are great channels for enhancing marketing, security, and providing differentiated experiences. If you want to know how you could make the most of these trends, we’ll be happy to discuss. Write in to us at email@example.com to schedule a quick chat.