The travel and tourism industry is constantly evolving with technological changes and the geopolitical shifts and trends. The constant onslaught of graphic information bombarding travelers’ minds with new concepts and ideas adding to the demand of this industry. The family polaroid snap is now replaced with the instant posting of an Instagram or Messenger graphic, and the travel arrangements are now personalized through Google and other algorithms. In this brief review, I bring you five consensual trends for travel and tourism for 2020.
1. Eco Travel
Ecology and climate change are the current rage and trends. More and more influence is projected onto travel arrangements regarding eco-tourism. The newer generations are eco-friendlier than the previous generation, which is showing up in emerging trends. Ecotourism involves all components of the travel industry, where “carbon credits” are given when making flight arrangements and renting electric vehicles. Other eco-tourism options opening up include volunteer work or helping out with nature reserve and animal conservation.
Due to the increase in information access from the internet, more and more travelers are leaving their bookings to the last minute. While travelers might access the entire list of tour requirements ranging from transport, lodging, and experience. These arrangements can be made online in moments before the traveler requires them. Tour operators find it harder to plan ahead, and this is leading to a change in the industry from a planning perspective. More marketing and localized partnerships are growing together with providing availability on the spot, in other words, don’t wait to receive a booking, be ready to receive a customer.
3. Destination Variation
Again, due to the increase in visual aids from the internet, together with up to date news and information. Travelers are going to be more exotic and out of the way locations. One of the major contributors to destination variation is the influx of new travel market sources, such as China, where millions of travelers are seeking more unusual destinations, as well as seeking out more unusual experiences. It is not so uncommon for local tour operators to receive unusual once in a lifetime bucket-list requests.
4. Individual Travel
One of the most common pictures in a travel guide is the family photo. However, this is changing as an increasing amount of individuals prefer to travel unaccompanied. No longer are the single travelers a much stared at the situation, together with this increase in the number of solo travelers are the destinations and activities, which are becoming increasingly diverse.
5. All things Technology
This fifth trend is a long one, and that is why it was set to appear last in the list but is by no means the least important. This is perhaps the leading trend for the past decade and will continue to appear in every list in the coming century.
The four main focuses on technology include booking, AI, automation and facial recognition.
Booking is all about the booking experience, how the traveler accesses online information, compares the data from multiple sites and reaches a decision as to what to book, when to book and how to pay.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a component science that includes machine learning, which is a foundation for personal experience. AI supports the booking technology and provides with personalized meat over the infrastructure bones.
Automation refers to chatbots, robots and automated systems. Chatbots are on the rise, providing an AI-controlled interface between the human and the machine. These systems will be only improved as time goes by. Robots and automation are slowly coming into the tourism life in the form of query assistance, logistics maneuverability and in the future, cars.
Recognition technology was born out of the need to recognize criminals and is now used to help in identifying travelers at every port of call. The facial data is compared to the computerized image data from passports. However, recognition is now coming into the travel experience world in the form of additional personalization based on the physical interaction between a human and an AI machine.
Technology is expanding and evolving exponentially. Every year, novel technologies emerge mixing with older ones and providing variances that constantly improve the travel and tour industry experience. Travel is all about the logistics and the human experience, customer relations is the backbone of these technologies, and the final interface, between traveler and tour operator, is becoming more personalized and controlled by these emerging technological infrastructures.