Travel is among the several industries where technology disruption is changing things. Not so long ago, planning for a business trip or a holiday meant visiting a travel agent. Nowadays it’s a bit different. With the internet, one can book flights, hotel and make a lot more arrangements. That’s the thing with the internet technologies. They break the status quo and eliminates the need for middlemen in this case travel agents who might for one reason or another be the cause of inefficiencies in the market.
Nowadays one can hail a taxi at the comfort of his office and home. This happens via apps developed by companies like Uber. Several other companies are emerging in the different countries in the world to compete with Uber which is the market leader. One can also choose to stay in a stranger’s place via AirBnB. AirBnB and Uber have been at the forefront of the sharing economy where people are encouraged are ‘hire out’ unused resources. Therefore, with AirBnB, if one has extra bedrooms in the house, it can be rented out for a night to earn extra income. There are also several sites on the internet that enable a traveler to compare prices of several establishments so as to get the best deal.
Technology is making travelers DIY travelers. One does not have to go to a travel agency to plan a trip. Travel agencies have been left with two options: either change and accommodate technology or close shop. In that regard, many agencies have made allowances for online bookings.
One of the areas where technology has really improved is customer experience. From Fintech to travel, customer experience is becoming increasingly important in this day and age where customers are more informed and know what they deserve. In that case, there has been a rise in website and apps where consumers can record experiences they had in hotels, airplanes, and restaurants. A good example is TripAdvisor, a website/app which users can add travel related information and other users can use the same information when making travel arrangements. TripAdvisor has over 60 million members and over 170 million reviews of hotels, restaurants, and travel-related information. The idea here is simple; one can trust the review of the experiences of a person who has been to a hotel and restaurant.
Have you ever experienced virtual tours? If you haven’t you, a virtual tour is a simulation of an establishment by still images or by a video. A virtual tour is more advantageous than a traditional brochure in many aspects. Firstly, it is less expensive to make a virtual tour than commissioning a brochure. Secondly, a virtual tour is more engaging and offers a deeper level of customer satisfaction. Some companies have even gone further by introducing virtual reality experiences to their establishments.
With technology, travel is only going to get more exciting. With time, due to the high amounts of data being generated, it is likely that companies will provide travelers specialized offers in relation to the past behaviors. Let us wait what will happen next.