Two decades ago, the United States was home to almost 34,000 travel retail locations, and according to CNN, the number is dropped down to 13,000 now. Today, 41% of business travelers and 60% of leisure travelers are making all their travel arrangements through the web. It would not be wrong to say that the travel industry has been completely transformed into a digital sector. The said industry has coped well with incorporating technology. It is growing bigger and better. The industry is growing at a very fast rate and in a decade’s time, it is going to touch a whopping $11.4 trillion worldwide!
Let’s find out how technology is making traveling better.
- Cloud Passports
Biometric passports that store all the essential information are already in use by Australians. This has allowed them to travel readily to select countries and get the immigration cleared quickly and easily using a SmartGate. But Australia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry wants to take it a step ahead and introduce the concept of virtual passports that will use the cloud-stored data.
Just like the e-passport, the cloud passport will be equipped with all the important personal information like a digital photo, biometric data, and other identification. It will eliminate the requirement to carry the actual passport. It will also cut down the number of stolen or missing passports. This technology has the potential to go global. The only concern is fitting the security requirements that are unavoidable, especially in the times that we are living in.
- Alternative Accommodations
Hotels are definitely not going away, but the sharing and access economy companies, like Airbnb, are becoming significantly popular lodging options. To an extent, that the travel sites such as Kayak are also incorporating them into their search results.
We are witnessing an increased interest in the alternative accommodations, which is why sites like Kayak also lists rental options now from their partners. For instance from Home Away, Booking.com, and so on.
- Personalized Travel
We have witnessed how big data analytics have helped an app like Hopper predict airfare trends and pricing. This is also facilitating the travel industry to personalize the services for every individual. For instance, a hotel can easily store and analyze the preferences of a frequent guest. Whether it is through a website or an app. They can easily implement the preferences for the future stays. Take this instance. Disney uses its MyMagic+ wristbands system in its amusement parks in order to collect online information from its users and also when they visit the resort. This helps them tailor services for every visitor that they have.
Customization is going to be one travel trend that will highly impact the future traveling, whether it’s booking a hotel room or a flight.
- Drone Photography
The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) has predicted a million drones, which would be gifted in this past holiday season. Even if the number is not accurate, these unmanned aerial vehicles are already very popular among hobbyists. The FAA implemented a new rule that requires the owners of small drones to register for a license before they fly it. The fee is only $5 so don’t stress.
Virtual traveling is not much different from navigating the world via Google Maps and Google Earth. With a massive number of drones that consumers are buying, you shouldn’t be surprised if you begin to see them on a vacation. Consider it the new selfie stick. And there is no doubt that drones can give you awesome aerial shots which no smartphone or DSLR could capture.
Some inexperienced drone pilots caused several incidents and that has led to bans in many places, such as in the National Park Service. Therefore, before you even pack the quadcopter on your next trip, ensure you are able to fly one.
Who doesn’t want to enjoy the amazing facilities of personalized traveling, cloud passports, and easy online bookings! It’s just like adding some amazing features to your Spectrum Internet Customer Service package, or some mind-blowing specs in your gadget!