Travel Tech: The Evolution of the Tourism Industry

14 November 2022 09:00

Over the past three years, there’s been a significant increase in the digitalization of our everyday activities–from ordering food to checking into our hotel. The travel and tourism industry is no exception to this trend, with an estimated growth of 38% in 2021 in the global revenue of mobile apps in the travel segment from the previous year, amounting to a total of 296 million U.S. dollars according to a recent Statista study.

This heavy adoption of technology in the tourism industry, or travel tech, is reflected in the growing demand for digital travel services such as virtual tours, apps to discover local attractions, and contactless payment integrations to increase travel confidence after the pandemic. Everything from booking and checking into hotel rooms or other accommodations and discovering unique and personalized experiences in your destination can be done within a few minutes with just a few taps on your phone.

To keep pace with travelers’ ever-changing needs, the tourism industry has been constantly evolving and adopting technology in innovative ways. Let’s take a look at a few emerging trends in travel tech and what they mean for the industry’s future.

Phone as a Travel Buddy

Before you walk out the door, you go through your mental checklist. You start with your keys, then your wallet, and of course, your phone. We’ve all experienced the mini heart attack when we don’t feel its small added weight in our pockets. Nowadays, everything we do has gone mobile, and for a good reason, too.

The pandemic has wholly redefined how travelers go about booking their trips and going on their tours and activities. So much that about 63% of consumers in the US claim that it’s imperative for them to use their phones while planning their next trip. Aside from booking their flights and accommodation, 70% of travelers look for fun activities and sights to enjoy ahead of their trip.

Travel apps put the traveler’s comfort first when designing their offering and user-friendly interface, allowing them to access all of their travel plans on one platform seamlessly. This is how travel tech is changing how travel agencies, hotels, airlines, etc., interact with potential and recurring customers.

The Rise of AR Tours

Augmented reality (AR) combines the user’s surrounding with digital elements, giving them more significant insights and valuable tips about the area they’re exploring. They have become increasingly popular in the tourism industry with the wide variety of interactive activities a tour guide can provide. With quizzes, fun trivia, and gamification, visitors can live attractive experiences like a local while learning with a ‘personalized guide.’

While the pandemic changed the way we interact with each other and introduced remote work to many industries, the tourism industry had to innovate and adapt. While social distancing, travelers still get to interact with a local and experience the city they’re visiting in a unique way, serving as a lifeline for tour guides all over the world. The endless possibilities introduced by these emerging technologies keep travelers’ and guides’ safety in mind without compromising adventures.

Internet of Things

What better way to simplify travel experiences and processes than to have everything connected to your phone. The sophistication of the Internet of Things introduces a new simplicity to the game where you no longer need to check in at a front desk, and all sorts of interactions with hosts and guides are contactless. You can build and modify your itinerary right in the palm of your hand and control your surroundings with just a few taps on your mobile screen.

With comfort and ease in mind, the travel industry embraces technological changes, opening doors to new trends and ways to experience new cities and cultures. Be a part of this evolution and plan your next adventure or create your next AR tour with Social Bee; adventure awaits.