What does the future of travel look like?

What does the future of travel look like?

It’s hard to imagine a time before online travel planning. Over 20 years ago the internet was brought into our world, and although the industry was reluctant at first, travel eventually moved online and the industry has never been the same since.

For the first time, people were able to plan for themselves with full transparency and control – this terrified travel providers and thrilled adventurers.

In the past two decades, we have witnessed enormous shifts in travel behaviour and technology. As computers and people become increasingly intelligent, there has been more pressure on technology to provide convenience, flexibility, and choice.

These technological expectations have created a huge stir for travel service providers to adapt or die.

Leezair, CEO and Founder, Angus Vidor stated “we haven’t even seen the start of the technological revolution for the travel industry yet. It’s so far behind other industries, especially here in Australia.”

“Artificial Intelligence has become so ingrained in our gadgets and lifestyle now, that it’s hard to think that Leezair will be the first travel app to implement it for better user experience.”

In recent years, there has been huge technological breakthroughs, more global competition and increasing consumer demands. In the next 10 years, we will witness even greater advancements in the tech and travel space.

 

TECHNOLOGY THAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Given the pace at which the travel and technology space is moving, it can be very difficult to keep up with all the jargon that’s being thrown around. There are a few key terms that we should all know about:

Bots:

In layman’s terms, a Bot is just a computer that is used to perform highly repetitive operations. Siri, the woman who lives in our iPhone is a Bot! (did you know Siri could beat box?) Siri is a great example of the emergence of conversational commerce. Conversational commerce or Bots are being considered the next big thing in the travel world.

Bots, our digital personal assistants, already exist in the form of messaging apps that can help you plan your vacation on the go, at any time. They help you with simple requests at random hours. You could simply pull out your smartphone and text “please rent me a purple minivan for tomorrow. Oh, and can you please get me a burger” and it would reply “Sure. Tell me your pick up location and meat preference”. Awesome!

So what’s the difference between Google Search and a Bot? Well, Bots use something called Natural Language Processing (NLP) – computers traditionally don’t! Computers were built to assume that we all speak in a highly structured and unified manner.

However, depending on context, regional location, and education we all have different names for the same things and speak with varied mannerisms.

Bots can speak to us, just like we speak to our friends since they have NLP built into them. You may have heard the term machine learning being thrown around before; this

is how they create Bots with NLP. In simple terms, machine learning is when a very savvy programmer has given machines their own understanding. The computer is then able to compute and analyse data on its own and therefore identifies patterns and trends just like we do. They consider and store possibilities taking special note of the effects. Once the machine has learnt enough it can start to form patterns and match words and phrases to their meanings – thus understanding human speech and casual text.

Leezair, Brand Marketing Manager, Rosa-Clare said “Bot’s are now every marketer’s dream. Especially in the travel industry. Our customers are constantly on the go. Bot’s allow us to take traditionally static collateral such as flyers, and make them dynamic and relevant. This agent-to-traveller dialogue is an incredible breakthrough for the industry.”

Artificial intelligence (AI):

All of the jargon that was thrown around above with Machine Learning can be used to understand what Artificial Intelligence (AI) is. It is simply a field of computer science where machines develop skills and capabilities of humans. So, AI is where machines can ‘learn’, ‘problem solve’ and ‘plan’.

For example, Netflix is engaging in AI when suggesting movies you may like, just as Leezair suggests experiences that you may enjoy. Netflix just looks at what you liked in the past, matches you to people with similar purchasing profiles and suggest things based on what these people have already seen and enjoyed.

Leezair, Head of Operations, Calvin Lee added “Leezair is using AI to anticipate what people want, so they can spend less time searching and more time experiencing.”

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality is the integration of digital information with the user’s environment in real time. It’s different to virtual reality, as it uses the existing environment to create new information rather than creating a totally artificial environment.

AR is what happens when a digital layer is placed on top of the physical world that’s in front of you. You have actually been dabbling in the world of AR for a lot longer than you think!

Remember EyeToy on PlayStation, where you could box your partner without really hitting them? That’s an example of AR on a very beginner level. You are already so comfortable with AR that you didn’t even flinch when Pokemon Go came in and took over your world! Pokemon Go places a made up digital layer over your existing environment and allows you to interact with it.

 

WHAT TO EXPECT FOR TRAVEL

Now that we’ve understood the terms that are shaping our future, it’s time to understand where they are taking our travel industry.

With all the data and intelligence that the Internet has allowed us to collect, we can expect that travelling will become increasingly personalised, convenient, fast and more interactive than ever before.

Some things to expect are:

  • Auto check-ins : Through the use of facial recognition software, airports will be able to scan through crowds of people and automatically check you in as you proceed to the gate without having to show ID. (Artificial Intelligence!)
  • Digital memory: We are all familiar with using loyalty cards to get discounts on groceries. Well, when we scan our flybys what we are really exchanging is a wealth of data on our buying patterns. This data allows for a stronger business through customised offerings and more efficient shelf stocking. It won’t be long until the travel industry moves into this space. We could be heading towards a world where all of the travel providers that are serving the same customer (from flights, car rental, accommodation etc) come together to have access to the digital bread crumbs that travellers leave with every transaction. Through collaborative relationships, travel providers could create a better travel experience through personalisation and streamlined operations.
  • Virtual-reality travel: It won’t be long before we can visit and experience a foreign country before we even leave our couch. It’s possible that VR could hold the future of traveller reviews, where they could create their own unique experience for others to taste test before they book!

 

THE FUTURE OF TRAVEL, LEEZAIR WILL MEET YOU THERE.

There are so many more technological advancements that will change the future for travel, and Leezair is learning more and more every day. Leezair is an online travel agent that has made technology the driver of their solutions. They will be one of the tech leaders in the travel space, and definitely, one to watch.

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