Guest blog by Gemma Henley
Technology has transformed the travel industry. Almost every facet of travel is now influenced by technology; both for the consumer and the airlines, hotels, and travel companies who make it all happen. At times it is hard to imagine how we ever managed without it. These days we have the world in the palm of our hand – we can plan, book and travel all on the same day, should we need to. And rather than carrying folders full of documents, we have our boarding passes, hotel reservations, travel insurance and everything else you could dream of, tucked away safely on our smartphone.
But what are the other areas in which technology has made an impact in the travel industry?
Here are three to get you started.
1. The Way We Book
Technology has changed the way we book our holidays beyond all recognition. There was a time, in the not too distant past, when we would walk into our High Street travel agent, flick through the many brochures and sit down with a sales assistant to book our trip. Now we can do all of that from the comfort of our homes and in a fraction of the time. And now we are taking it a step further by booking our trips on our mobile devices. Purpose-built apps allow us to select flights, research our accommodation and then book it with a tap of a finger. We are also able to compare prices across airlines, hotels, and apartments very quickly to ensure we are always getting the best price for our trip. That, in turn, is keeping travel companies, airlines and hotel chains honest – we can always take our business elsewhere if we don’t feel the price is fair.
We never get lost for very long anymore, thanks to technology. With our smartphone in our pocket, we always have the option of unraveling a map of the world in the palm of our hand. Gone are the days when you arrived in a new destination and had to get directions from locals and scramble your way to your accommodation or a place of interest. Now, we catch an Uber from the airport or the train station and it takes us directly to our destination. We don’t even need to haggle with the driver over the fee or attempt to explain directions in a different language. And when we are out walking or sightseeing, we allow ourselves to wander wherever takes our fancy, safe in the knowledge that we can find our way back by opening our maps app. This is a trend being followed all across the world; with almost 70% of holidaymakers in Brazil, for example, using their smartphone at each point of their journey. Isn’t technology wonderful?
3. The Way We Stay in Touch
There was a time when staying in touch while we were overseas was difficult. We wrote postcards, lined up outside public telephone boxes and made hurried calls as our coins ran out. These days, we are never out of touch. Apps such as Skype mean video calls are easy, and we can allow our friends and family to see where we are and what we are doing. Social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter allow us to post photos and videos from our travels to show everyone what we are doing and the fun we are having. Rather incredibly, around 31% of millennials now say that the moment they post their holiday snaps on their social media platforms is as important as the holiday itself!
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