Digitisation encompasses all areas of our lives and travel is no exception. Travellers increasingly use digital solutions: looking for holiday inspiration online, booking via smartphone, checking in with an app and sharing their holiday snaps on Instagram.
It seems like the future is already here! Now all you need to travel is your passport and a smartphone (which, by the way, can now replace a credit card).
Let’s take a look at how much we really have digitised the way we travel. Although the UK’s online travel market is one of the most developed digital markets in Europe, there’s a lot of room to grow. For example, currently, 45% of UK travellers search for their travel inspiration via smartphone — in comparison to 87% of Indian holidaymakers.
The infographic from Horizn Studios below shows how the digital world is shaping the future of how and where we choose to travel.
Some quick facts:
• 65% of travellers prefer to plan their trips based on other people’s personal recommendations
• 82% prefer to book without a human interaction
• 42% of UK travellers research flights and hotels on mobile devices
More about travelling at Horizn Studios.
What will the future of travel look like?
There are a lot of ways to imagine the future of travel, and trends change every year. Today, two of the main digital trends in travel are services that can easily be tailored to the traveller’s needs and minimal interpersonal interactions at all stages, from booking to check-in. In 2018, 82.2% of bookings were made without talking to a single human — and this trend shows no signs of slowing down. We already book our tickets and hotels online, so what’s next?
Handing over keys via smartphone
Metal keys are pretty antiquated in the travel industry, as most hotels already only issue digital key cards. In a matter of years though, you will get your digital room “key” on your smartphone with the booking — without having to queue at reception.
Voice assistants will make travel more comfortable
Google and Amazon are also making rapid progress in the evolution of digital services for travellers. A ticket to see your favourite band in concert? A table in your favourite restaurant? Google Assistant handles all of it for you, often combining reservation with payment, seamlessly. It will be exciting when Google has developed its virtual assistant so that it cannot only organise reservations through booking agents, but also place room service orders within hotels.
Sustainability in tourism: digitisation is the way forward!
Digital travel documents: You can have the documents printed out beautifully by the travel agent, sometimes even delivered by Postbus. When booking online, on the other hand, the whole thing is digital. Use online check-in to save time – and paper.
CO2 offset online
This is not a new problem and many who choose to fly frequently take partial responsibility for the CO2 emissions from the aircraft. Although digitisation won’t prevent emissions, it can help you to at least make up for them a little. You can calculate what your carbon consumption would be on a flight when you book it, with a suggested donation payable along with your ticket. This donation then supports projects that reduce CO2 emissions elsewhere in the world.
Digitisation has advanced globalisation and made it much simpler, quicker and more convenient to communicate with local people. For example, it is now much easier for travel providers to work with small, local providers, which in turn will support the local economy in the long term.