5 Mobile Tech Trends That Make Summer Travel a Breeze
We’re living in a mobile world. The technology we use on a daily basis is changing the way we research, plan and book our travels. Let’s take a look at some of the major tech trends that are disrupting the way we travel.
1. Artificial Intelligence & Chatbots
Could artificial intelligence be a game-changer for the travel industry? Travel chatbots are certainly making a splash this summer. In fact, they’re used by many different companies to help users to plan their trip and suggest places to visit.
The advantage of a bot over a traditional travel agent is their immediacy. They are also available 24/7 and can support responses in many different languages.
Many of the large travel brands are already using AI and chatbots to help their customers. For example, Expedia has a Facebook messenger app where users can tell the bot about their travel plans. Once it has gathered some information, the bot will automatically recommend the five most popular hotels in the surrounding area near the user’s destination.
Booking.com is also using chatbots as a way of serving their customers better. Theirs has a two-sided nature that allows users to have a conversation about their travel booking. It also allows the hotel to send notifications. It can even answer questions about hotel policies, payment, transportation and more.
According to this Forbes article – Millennials actually prefer talking to chatbots over travel agents when planning their travel!
2. The Internet of Things
The Internet of Things, or IoT, has the potential to seamlessly connect devices together. This can improve many different industries, especially the travel industry.
Imagine being able to pair your smartphone with the lights, air conditioning, TV and other items in your hotel room! You could control anything with WiFi directly from your phone. This would certainly make your stay in a hotel room even more enjoyable.
Your hotel room would even know who you are. When you walk in, the TV would say, “Good morning, (Your Name)… Nice to see you!” You will be able to preload the TV with your favorite shows and streaming entertainment. You could even preset your own playlists and personalize your stay in other ways.
Skift has reported that Hilton and Marriott have already started rolling out this smart mobile tech. Cool, right?
3. Augmented Reality
The travel industry is starting to adopt more augmented reality mobile tech, as this can really create memorable interactions. Unlike virtual reality, which immerses the user in an entirely digital world, augmented reality combines the real world with digital content – using a device such as a smartphone or glasses to overlay digital images and information on real surroundings.
There are a number of ways that this technology could be used to create more interactive experiences in travel, including:
- Making travel more like a video game to encourage travelers to experience (and book) more.
- Creating immersive virtual reality experiences at specific locations for unique tours.
- Awarding digital prizes or tokens to people who visit a place of business, as a way of increasing foot traffic.
- And more!
Pokemon Go is a great example of how augmented reality can be used in the travel industry. Now imagine a similar interactive augmented reality travel game, where travelers need to visit certain landmarks in order to level up or win prizes.
Augmented reality also makes it possible for hotels to create loyalty programs which reward customers for going to a location often and checking in. Brands can also reward consumers for scanning a QR code on an ad, etc.
Many travel brands are already using it in interesting ways. For example, Best Western has created an augmented reality campaign that allows guests to interact with a life-size image of a Disney character.
4. Voice Activated Devices
According to stats from MyTravelResearch.com, nearly 60% of searches from mobile devices are now voice searches. This is huge and means that voice search will significantly change the way travelers find information about their travel plans and destinations. Perhaps soon, hotels, attractions and restaurants will start to tailor their online content so that it satisfies frequently asked questions from voice search.
The main difference? Voice search queries tend to be more conversational than written searches.
For example, in a text search you might type “weather Austin, Texas” whereas in a voice search command to your smart device you might say, “What will be weather be like in Austin, Texas next week?” The point is, we don’t tend to edit our words as much when speaking like we do when writing.
This mobile tech trend can make summer travel a breeze by allowing quicker, easier searches while planning travel. Many travel companies are starting to optimize their websites for voice search, making this tech even more accurate over time. Soon, this will be the most efficient way to plan travel!
5. Mobile Payments
One of the major mobile tech trends in the travel industry is mobile payment technology. According to information reported by Mobile Marketing Watch, an increasing amount of consumers are starting to book their travel arrangements on their mobile phones – and the number has been increasing steadily.
This technology makes it so much easier for customers to book and pay for travel on their phones. Bookings can now be made from anywhere, completed in a matter of seconds.
Many travel companies have noticed the increase in mobile bookings, which has brought on a few trends. Some have upgraded their mobile sites to deliver the best possible user experience. Others have developed and promoted travel apps for ease of use. Either way, booking your travel via mobile easier than ever. Plus, many tourism and hospitality brands are starting to offer complimentary content that is relevant to the destination – such as flight updates, weather reports and special offers for nearby restaurants and attractions.
What are your thoughts on these travel-related mobile tech trends?
Mobile devices have transformed nearly every aspect of daily life – and travel is no exception. These are just five of the most significant mobile tech trends that are playing a part in the travel industry today. Need help booking travel? Contact us today to see how we can help!
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