3 Hot Digital Trends for the Tourism Industry

Every year, certain key trends emerge within the tourism industry, helping to improve the customer experience, change the way people book their travel, or make internal processes quicker, more simple, or more accurate. The prediction is that the following three trends will come to define the year, especially given the impacts of covid 19:

Virtual Reality (VR)

Virtual reality has been one of the dominant technological trends in general throughout the past few years, with VR headsets emerging as a mainstream consumer product. Although the benefits of virtual reality are already being explored in the tourism industry, this is a trend which is likely to continue into 2021.

We are already increasingly seeing the adoption of VR capabilities within the travel industry. For example, some travel companies are already using virtual reality travel experiences to allow people to experience aspects of a holiday, such as a trip to a famous attraction, using VR headsets and 360 video.

Augmented Reality (AR)

Another emerging trend in tourism management, which is closely related to virtual reality, is that of augmented reality. Unlike VR, the basic concept behind AR is to use digital technology to alter the experience of real-life surroundings, meaning that, when viewed through an AR compatible device, they are enhanced in some way.

Augmented reality is especially appealing to those in the tourism industry, because it provides the potential to enhance real-life environments through technology. This means that, for example, environments can become interactive and information can be presented when it is most relevant.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Finally, another key trend that will continue to emerge in the travel and tourism industry throughout the last few years is the use of artificial intelligence. In simple terms, this means utilising computers to carry out what were traditionally seen as a human tasks, because they required intelligent interactions or the ability to learn.

To date, the main usage of artificial intelligence within the tourism industry has been with chatbots and direct messaging. When used in this way, AI is able to respond to simple questions and queries from customers almost instantaneously. Chatbot technology also improves over time, as it essentially ‘learns’ from interactions.

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