The travel and hospitality industries, with their desire to beat out competitors, retain customers, and attract new opportunities, have inspired some of the most impressive technological advancements we’ve ever experienced.
Can you remember when booking travel meant calling a travel agency and asking friends for trip recommendations? Can you imagine doing that in 2016? Probably not. Thanks to the Internet and the many improvements it’s seen in recent years, every aspect of travel—from recommendations and reviews, to booking flights, lodging, and recreational excursions—can be done from home, often at the click of a button. You can even change your travel plans on the go from nearly anywhere in the world, thanks to mobile devices, like smartphones and tablets.
Travel agents aren’t the only ones whose profession was all but ousted by technology, though. Today, airports like Dubai International, Washington Dulles, and Boston’s Logan are replacing airline service agents with helpful holograms who speak multiple languages and are constantly up-to-speed on airport knowledge, regarding security, flight and gate changes, and airport navigation.
When it comes to technology changing the nature of the beast, hospitality is no stranger. While Marriott remains the world’s largest lodging provider, with its one million rooms and 30 hotel brands, Airbnb recently passed InterContinental Hotels and Hilton Worldwide as the largest hotel chain in the world. Interestingly enough, Airbnb doesn’t own or manage a single hotel. Instead, Airbnb users rent rooms or entire homes from strangers in over 190 countries.
Airbnb doesn’t exactly present a new concept, but the company has made a centuries-old tradition accessible to anyone with internet who has a need for travel lodging, whether it be 30 minutes from home or on the other side of the globe.
Once you’ve traveled to your destination and checked into your temporary home, you’ll likely require some form of transportation. Google Maps, Uber, and Lyft are all changing the transportation landscape. While Google Maps gives you updates on traffic, accidents, and faster routes in real time, Uber and Lyft allow users to book a driver instantly, with easy communication, and cheaper fares than traditional taxis.
All these changes aren’t the end of the technological wave for the hospitality and travel industries, though. Hospitality Technology Magazine reported than 54 percent of the world’s hotels will spend more on technology this year, prioritizing payment security, guest room technology, bandwidth, and mobile engagement.
At this point in the game, technological advancements no longer pose the question “How fast can we get it done?” instead asking “How can we differentiate our tech services from theirs?” With more tech changes sure to come in the near future, distinguishing brands and their technologies from one another is the next big challenge for hospitality and travel giants. For more information regarding technology in the travel industry, [Click Here].
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