New Delhi: Like most areas of life, the travel and tourism sector is undergoing extensive change as a result of a variety of new, modern technologies. Technology now permeates almost all aspects of travel, whether it is a traveller making a reservation, a travel agency offering its services, or a hospitality provider presenting and delivering amenities.
Now that 2022 comes to a close and as we approach the incoming New Year, what are the five travel technology trends that are likely to play out in 2023?
Like most areas of life, the travel and tourism sector is undergoing extensive change as a result of a variety of new, modern technologies. Technology now permeates almost all aspects of travel, whether it is a traveller making a reservation, a travel agency offering its services, or a hospitality provider presenting and delivering amenities.
Despite recent comeback of Covid-19 in some regions of China, pandemic-driven limited mobility is already a thing of the past for most countries, including India. As a result, so-called vengeance travel is now a major force in the travel industry.
The tourism and travel business may use a variety of cutting-edge biometric authentication technologies that will likely develop in the upcoming year. The industry is anticipated to adopt cutting-edge fingerprint recognition, facial recognition, finger and palm vein pattern recognition technologies, and facial and behavioural biometrics (gait, voice, and accent recognition) giving personalisation a whole new meaning while existing retinal scanning and relatively recently introduced iris scanning would become more widespread. The most recent example of this anticipated trend is the introduction of DigiYatra, an app-based service that uses facial recognition technology at the airports of Delhi, Bangalore and Varanasi.
The employment of cutting-edge biometric technologies by fintech and payment businesses will make travel and hospitality-related payments even more user-friendly and practical in the upcoming year, in line with the aforementioned developments. It would be less common for travellers to experience the usual headaches and inconveniences, particularly when they change or cancel their travel and lodging plans, which frequently results in a conflict between service providers and service recipients, as observed in the wake of pandemic-induced lockdowns. The availability of non-cash financial credits like travel vouchers and loyalty points would therefore gain more traction as a result of the emerging combination of cutting-edge travel, financial, and biometric technologies, while touchless payment systems would still offer a frictionless travel payment experience.
In the coming year, while hotels and resorts would make increased use of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies with an eye on magnifying their value propositions to their existing and potential customers, a range of other actors such as leisure destinations, holiday spots and recreation and entertainment centers would not remain behind. As VR would enable a traveller-customer to get a glimpse into the virtues and benefits of a prospective hotel or a holiday resort and the amenities therein even before he makes a booking, the whole experience is expected to be more interactive and immersive than ever. At the same time, once a traveller has arrived at an intended destination, AR embedded with innovative apps, ultra-modern cameras and videos and interactive maps would make his travel experience infinitely more engaging and worthwhile. In 2023, both these technologies are to be adopted on a larger scale by travel and tourism players.
The much-discussed metaverse is anticipated to experience some activity in the upcoming year. Although the specific scope and form of the role that the metaverse will play for travellers is not yet obvious, it can be anticipated that the overall experience would be more sophisticated and deeply engaging than what AR and VR have to offer.
As a result, from the perspective of travel technology, the upcoming year looks to be very intriguing. A tech-based train journey solutions supplier in India even provides the option to upgrade a wait-listed train ticket to a guaranteed aircraft ticket for just Rs 1! 2023 will undoubtedly be a thrilling year for travel technology, not to mention for travellers.
(The writer, Vineet Chirania, is Founder and CEO Trainman)
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