Social media, apps, WiFi and paperless maps
Now that every aspect of life, including travel, has gone online there are five key travel tech trends that people in the industry have to be aware of, according to Tourism-Review.com and London-based Centaur Exhibitions, organiser of the specialised exhibition Travel Technology Europe (TTE 2014).
Social media has revolutionised the way people get information about destinations. Facebook Graph Search will give a user-rated list on nightclubs in Bangkok, for example, while sites like MapQuest have created social platforms for travellers to share experiences.
The explosion is apps means there’s an app now for everything, from a destination’s attractions to an area’s detailed topography. Hotels and airlines have their own apps, while Viator is an app giving discounts and travel deals. People download destination-relevant apps before they travel. It’s a travel-tech trend that’s constantly evolving.
The third trend is inflight WiFi, which most airlines have installed, but in many cases only on selected flights – and often with an additional charge.
Fourth, travellers are increasingly replacing paper city maps with the kind available on smartphone apps or Google maps.
But the final travel-tech trend listed by Tourism Review is “tech-free zones”. A growing number of travellers want to get away from this wired world for a while, to forget Facebook and Twitter. Some hotels and resorts are offering relaxing braincation time well away from the electronic world.