Travelling has become the favourite hobby of millions of people around the world. In fact, according to UNWTO, international tourism has seen a strong rebound in the first five months of 2022, with nearly 250 million international arrivals recorded.
But uncertainty is not the only thing facing the tourism sector; digital transformation will make a difference between companies in this industry.
Big Data: This technology is already established in many other sectors, and the tourism industry can also benefit greatly from it. Many players in the sector are already using it. For example, the Meliá hotel chain uses information from its guests to determine the best target for marketing campaigns. They examine their database to see the amount spent, the reason for the trip or the country of origin and compare this information with public data from government sources to develop the most suitable customer profile, thus achieving a higher success rate. Therefore, they better segment their campaigns to increase their effectiveness and optimize investment.
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality: RA and VR have also entered the world of travel with a bang due to all the possibilities they can offer. More and more companies are using these technologies to show users what they will find at their destination. For example, to show them the cabins of a cruise ship, to transport them for a second to the Great Wall of China, to the top of Everest or even to know what it would feel like to cross the Grand Canyon in a kayak, enjoying the sights and sounds of each place.
Recognition technology: This technology includes fingerprint recognition, facial recognition, retina scanning, and various other biometric identifiers. Currently, it is already being used in some hotels to allow access to rooms through fingerprints or for contactless check-out. In the future, however, it is hoped that this technology could allow customers to pay for meals at the hotel restaurant simply by walking out the door.
Internet of Things: The IoT will be a decisive factor in the personalization of the customer experience, giving the possibility, for example, to interact with the thermostat in the room or control the television through an application. Some suitcases have devices that allow users to see their location at any time to avoid losing luggage at the airport or other public places.
Mobile Technology: According to TripAdvisor, 45% of users use their smartphone for everything related to their vacations. Therefore, it is important to adapt corporate services and communications to these devices. Systems that, for example, in the case of the airline KLM, every time someone makes a reservation, they are sent information about their ticket, their boarding pass or updates on the status of their flight through
Facebook Messenger: In this way, the user has all the relevant information about his trip in the palm of his hand through an application that he already uses, such as Facebook Messenger, eliminating the need to download anything else.
Virtual assistants: Increasingly, hotels are starting to count on the help of virtual assistants designed specifically for this sector. IBM recently launched Watson Assistant, an AI-powered virtual assistant that creates an interactive and personalized consumer experience. Companies will have to adapt their services to the needs of their clients.
Blockchain: Blockchain is a technology poised to transform the world as we know it. Although it is mainly associated with finance, it also seems to affect the tourism sector. Although not much experimentation has been done with it yet, everything seems to indicate that it will be very useful, for example, to identify passengers at the airport, guarantee transparency in tourists’ opinions and offer easy and secure payments.
5G: 5G promises much faster download and upload speeds, wider coverage, and more stable connections. It allows us to develop and deploy technology that 4G limited us. That means the relationship between smart devices will be more efficient, and we can truly enjoy the IoT. Immersive tourism, where technology makes the traveller the protagonist of the experience, will be a reality. Also, augmented reality (AR) or 360° video will become more ubiquitous and accessible.
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