Accoding to Colliers International "Innovations in travel technology will continue to transform the tourism industry, with cloud passports, personalised travel, virtual reality and apps predicted to re-shape consumer habits and marketing strategies over the short to mid-term" The first is the utilisation of beacons to pilot Bluetooth across public spaces, allowing for on demand flash marketing within the property or guest identification. The second, ease of alternative accommodations, focusses on channels such as Airbnb.com, and the increasing appetite for experiential travel without the need for hotels. In addition, virtual payment systems and integrated smart phone apps are also tipped to be highly influential.
The five trends driving the travel industry will be biometric-enabled baggage solutions; cloud passports; personalised travel; spontaneous travel apps; and virtual reality travel.
Simon Press, Senior Exhibition Director, Arabian Travel Market, said: “Biometric technology will play a significant role in the evolution of baggage tracking systems and immigration clearance, with some forward thinking names already introducing such technology to the industry, such as Dutch airline KLM and Dubai International Airport. In addition, we can expect travel related services to be further developed to enhance personalisation through guest data. Dubai is already at the forefront of travel technology and the discussion now is how far we can take that without travellers finding it intrusive.”
In Dubai, Emaar Hospitality was one of the first to introduce in-room iPads for guest to do everything from book dinner to control their environment and even draw the curtains. The use of the iPads helped to increase in-room spending through flash promotions sent directly to guests.
Now, Dubai is all set to welcome its first Bluetooth connected property and even alternative payment gateways such as Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, along with the use of apps to personalise the hotel experience, are beginning to have a significant influence on hotel operations.
Marriott International chain has also pioneered VRoom Service, a first-of- its-kind guest service that allows guests to order inspiring virtual reality experiences to their rooms, created in collaboration with Samsung Electronics America.
Another key theme at ATM 2017 will be the application of artificial intelligence (AI) in travel and how such technology could help make travel and tourism safer in future, with insight into global consumer reactions to the role of robots and AI in travel.