Tourism and Travel Tech Trends

November 15, 2018

From chatbots to digital payments, there’s a world of new technologies that are changing the way people travel and the tourism sector. As the Lisbon Tourism Summit approaches, let’s dive right into the main trends changing the business.

Chatbots and Conversational Interfaces

Chatbots are experiencing an extensive hype with good reason! Chatbots allow travelers to directly interact with travel agents in a trusted manner, before and while traveling. It creates a customized communication that enhances the customer experience, builds trust and increases retention rates while reducing costs dramatically.

The maturing development of conversational interfaces holds the potential for a far more advanced level of bots in the near future, though it is expected they will cooperate with human travel agents instead of fully replacing them.

Who’s already using this tech?

(Mouseover picture to read!)

[imagebox maintitle=”DESTYGO” subtitle=”Destygo stands apart from other chatbot builders by creating a conversational artificial intelligence platform specialized for the travel industry. Only a year old — and a graduate of International Airlines Group (IAG)’s Hangar 51 accelerator — the company already builds chat and voice assistants for companies, such as travel management company Carlson Wagonlit Travel and Iberia Airlines. ” image=”” color=”white” space=”60″ link=””]

Artificial Intelligence

For customers, AI simplifies travel decisions, shortens the time of purchase, and enhances personalized offerings throughout the entire travel lifecycle.

For travel agents, automating low priority tasks frees up time of the human workforce which then can be used to add further value. Offering accurate travel recommendations such as alternative travel dates, destinations and local sightseeing options based on previous searches or bookings boosts customer loyalty and results in repeated sales.

Who’s already using this tech?

[imagebox maintitle=”Journera” subtitle=”Journera provides a suite of APIs for travel companies to connect to the Journera platform. As data is published to Journera, their algorithms detect matches and initiate the flow of travel events for that shared customer’s trip. When your customer’s trip changes – say a new component is booked or a disruption occurs – they immediately deliver those events to you and your Journera partners.” image=”” color=”white” space=”80″ link=””]

Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality

AR and VR technologies take travel experiences further by demonstrating destinations (“try before you fly”), preserving historical landmarks, and even creating new attractions.

Augmented and Virtual Reality equip travel agents with the tools to highlight their unique selling points such as hotels or destinations.

By inviting visitors to be a part of the story it becomes the traveler’s story – a journey that boosts engagement, ultimately culminating in a one-of-a-kind travel experience.

Who’s already using this tech?

[imagebox maintitle=”QuaQua” subtitle=”QuaQua, has leveraged Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technology to create the world’s first virtual travel platform that maps end-to-end travel journeys. Today’s consumers, mostly millennials are glued to their smartphones all the time, are more focused on experiences, and most want a sneak peek at a destination before traveling, to get a fair idea of what and how they’re going to actually experience.” image=”” color=”white” space=”60″ link=””]

Mobile Travel

By today, mobile has turned into the latest sales channel for travel agents as travel pairs well with mobile devices, permitting passengers to continue and modify their journey once they have taken off. From cross-device service to personalized & data-driven search results, integration of travel information, as well as AR/VR apps and wearables, travel apps show an advantage in various areas.

Who’s already using this tech?

[imagebox maintitle=”Lvji” subtitle=”Anyone who has traveled in China outside of its best-known cities knows that the amount of tourism information infrastructure is limited for Mandarin-speakers — let alone for international visitors. To fill the gap, Lvji has developed audio travel guides for mobile apps and electronic kiosks for destinations. Once the company has solved China’s destination marketing problem, it will have learned enough to build products that could travel far and wide.” image=”” color=”white” space=”60″ link=””]

Digital Payment

The increase in digital payments comes down to three main lines of disruption: P2P payment applications, digital wallets (eWallets), and the rise of cryptocurrencies. While these technologies improve efficiency and convenience, gaining traveler’s trust is still a challenge. When implementing these solutions, traditional and online travel agents need to be aware of these concerns to address them correctly.

Who’s already using this tech?

[imagebox maintitle=”WeTravel” subtitle=”WeTravel developed a platform that collects payments securely while also managing (group) bookings efficiently. The startup allows travel agents to create a booking page that collects downloadable traveler information, and, additionally, collects payments as well as refunds.” image=”” color=”white” space=”60″ link=””]

Customize Travel

Who’s already using this tech?

Personalizing travel experiences starts with understanding traveler behavior and tailoring travels according to their needs. Similar to airlines, travel agents need to take care to provide their customer’s personalized offers, genuinely created to meet their expectations.

[imagebox maintitle=”Kompas” subtitle=”With this app you’ll no longer have to spend hours online searching for that perfect place. We’ll show you hidden, unique, and independent gems, available at the tap of a finger. You can plan your day with itineraries based on your interests and location, designed to optimize your time and money. ” image=”” color=”white” space=”60″ link=””]

User-Generated Content

Given the limitless amount of information available on the Internet today, travelers sometimes are overwhelmed by it. User-generated content, namely blog posts, social media shares, etc., is one way to turn this information into actionable insights.

Moreover, UGC is a powerful tool to give potential customers an authentic look at a travel agent’s offerings. Besides contributing as an inspiration for wanderlust and increasing trust, user-generated content is an influential way to get in front of new target audiences.

Who’s already using this tech?

[imagebox maintitle=”live2leave” subtitle=”Live2Leave, adds a personal touch to a travel recommendations sector dominated by TripAdvisor in which the advice offered is often detached and generic. It does this through an app that lets travelers record their favorite spots, share their recommendations with friends and local experts, and search for tips in a given destination.” image=”” color=”white” space=”60″ link=””]

Web & App Travel Aggregators

Ready-made itineraries are to become a thing of the past due to the rising demand for personalized travel. Web and app-based travel aggregators come in a variety of formats. From the better-known flight, hotel and car aggregators to thematic tours, outdoor activities, luxury traveling and sustainable tourism, travel aggregators offer fully customizable travel experiences. Some aggregators expand their support throughout the entire trip, allowing travelers to change preferences during the trip or even fully planning how to spend their time at the desired destination.

Who’s already using this tech?

[imagebox maintitle=”Holidayen” subtitle=”Holidayen is one web-based travel aggregator that has found its niche. The startup focuses on sightseeing tours, attraction tickets, and activities. With more than 100.000 booking options the meta-search engine provides travelers with an extensive overview of several destinations. Additionally, the platform allows users to save and revisit their activities at any time.” image=”” color=”white” space=”60″ link=””]

How is the industry facing this changes and embracing these technologies? That’s what the industry leaders gathering November 20th in Lisboa will discuss at the Lisbon Tourism Summit. Get to know this event and speakers here, and subscribe to our newsletter for more trends, news and event details.