While the global economy may be braced for a period of uncertainty, there are some sectors that continue to grow at an incredible rate. Take the travel industry, for example, which grew at an impressive rate of 3.1% during 2015 and is thought to have created 7.2 million jobs during the same period of time.
Perhaps even more astonishingly, the travel sector accounts for 9.8% of the world’s cumulative GDP, making it an increasingly influential marketplace that is continuing to evolve with every passing year.
3 Travel-Tech Trends to Keep an Eye on in 2017
At the heart of this sustained growth is technology advancement, which continues to create new opportunities within the market and drive an improved (and more diverse) consumer experience. This is set to continue for the foreseeable future, so here are three travel-tech trends to keep an eye on in 2017: –
1. The Emergence of One-stop, Travel Management Resources
Corporate travel is a huge contributor to the overall marketplace, particularly as business class flights become increasingly accessible and trends such as ‘the bizcation’ (where travellers combine commercial elements with pleasure during a single trip) begin to take centre stage.
A higher volume of commercial customers has created a need for more sophisticated and seamless software, however, particularly when it comes to booking and managing travel plans. The Reed and Mackay website offers a prominent example of this, as they provide a corporate travel management service which combines multiple elements with a single, accessible package. Including minute and seemingly small details, this helps companies to save money without compromising on the time required to complete tasks.
This is a trend that will gather serious momentum in 2017, particularly as the cost of business travel continues to fall consistently.
Image Source: Pixabay
2. The Age of the Virtual, e-Passport
In some respects, the current global, geopolitical climate and the need for intensified airport security makes the notion of e-passports seem absurd. Australian citizens already have access to biometric passports, however, which leverage personal information and data that is stored in a secure, Cloud-based entity.
This information can be accessed instantly, enabling passengers to continue their journey seamlessly while negating time-consuming customs inspections and immigration checks.
This is a trend that has captured the imagination of authorities, who are keen to develop this technology further and implement it on a large-scale basis. The subsequent virtual passport would operate in a similar way to the existing biometric alternative, but it would also utilise a digital photo and other identification metrics to enable passengers to travel without a physical document. This may well become a key priority in 2017, so long as designers and authorities can comply with stringent international security requirements.
3. The Age of Virtual Reality (VR) Travel
VR is often considered as the future of gaming and entertainment, but in theory it has many more potential applications. Along with the more accessible concept of augmented reality, this technology can also revolutionise the travel sector while creating a brand new revenue stream by negating the need to visit physical locations.
In simple terms, VR has the capacity to fabricate any environment, while augmented reality combines virtual and corporeal elements to recreate global destinations. These environments can then be explored by armchair travellers, who can enjoy an immersive adventure without ever leaving their own home.
These virtual tours not only create opportunities for those who are unable to travel physically, but they also provide a valuable learning experience for travellers who are keen to make better decisions.
Next year will see this technology enjoy further refinement, as VR continues to be applied to a wider range and diversity of markets.