While summer is usually a time of mass migration, with holiday-goers enjoying pool-side relaxation and a cocktail or two, this year the tourism industry has been impacted by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
With thousands of international flights grounded and countless hotel rooms empty, the usually booming travel industry has had to find other ways to stay afloat. In recent times, we’ve seen the conception of innovative travel technology that tourists can take advantage of (as soon as the airways open up again). Some of these inventions have proved crucial as businesses endeavor to carefully navigate the global health crisis.
The following post presents the top 5 travel and tourism trends in 2020 amidst the global pandemic.
As VR becomes more commonplace, it is set to play a huge role in the future of the travel industry.
Rather than reading through brochure after brochure all claiming to offer ‘picturesque views’ and ‘unrivalled scenery’, potential guest can instead experience a digital sample. Hotels can provide prospective visitors with an online tour, which allows customers to check out the rooms before they make a booking.
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)
Lost luggage is the bane of any travel experience. With the introduction of radio frequency identification (RFID), however, travellers can cut down on the time they spend hanging around the airport.
In its simplest form, RFID is a wireless communication system used to locate and track luggage. All you need to do is embed an intuitive RFID chip into your bags and finding your belongings during travel becomes straightforward.
Known Traveler Identification (KTID)
With the growing number of travellers putting pressure on the tourism sector, and airport infrastructure facing increasing strain, it’s only natural for the travel industry to go paperless.
KTID utilizes encrypted identity data and traveller information to turn your device into a secure virtual passport. Not only does this reduce paper waste, man-power and possible cross-contamination, but it also reduces the risk of holiday-goers leaving their passport at home in today’s digital-first world.
Internet of Things (IoT)
While the Internet of Things usually applies to anything and everything based on the web, it more specifically refers to everyday objects imbued with the ability to send and receive data.
One of the most prevalent additions brought on by IoT is smart speakers on planes. They can be used to communicate with passengers, answer any queries, and even potentially take food and drink orders during long flights.
With countless apps already available for airlines and hotels, it was only a matter of time before the travel industry took the leap towards super apps.
In essence, super apps consolidate all the functions of individual services to create a one-stop, all-inclusive tool for all your holiday needs. This includes access to flight plans, hotel bookings, and everything in between.
The Future of Travel
While technology provides unmatched support and guidance for travellers, there is still nothing quite like the human touch in certain scenarios. However, hospitality businesses have been forced into limiting these human touchpoints in the pandemic climate, and with good reason.