Happy New Year! With 2017 still in showroom condition, it’s the perfect time to look at some technology trends we believe will impact the way people think about, purchase and experience travel over the coming year and beyond.
- Frustration busting: the new Amazon Go grocery store has done away with the pain of checkout queues – because there aren’t any checkouts! Similarly, Amadeus has developed a platform with technology that can be embedded into any third party ‘smart’ touchpoint to deliver the right service at the right time with next to no effort on the part of the traveller. Services can be booked from the dashboard of a car or via the virtual concierge in a hotel. You can even see the latest prices for visiting a destination that features in the movie you’re watching.
- The master bots are coming: with almost 6 million apps available today, there really is “an app for that.” But thanks to advances in machine learning, and the ability to use everyday language to interact with technology, many believe that bots will start taking the place of apps. Some of the earliest bots will be recognisable as virtual assistants like Amazon Echo (thankfully more like Robby the Robot than Terminator). Trusted and expert travel brands will have a key role to play here.
- Diving into content (or skiing, or trekking): Almost four out of five virtual reality aficionados believe that the technology will become ultra-realistic and indistinguishable from the real world within 3 years. So expect brochure content to escape from the page or screen and become much more immersive, especially in high-footfall concept stores. While it won’t replace the joy of actually being somewhere, Virtual Reality will help close the gap between anticipation and destination.
- It’s all about me: Amazon and Netflix set the gold standard for generating incremental sales and influencing customer behaviour through personalised recommendations (based on serious data crunching in the background). So the hit-and-miss approach that targets everyone with the same offer hoping that something might eventually stick will finally go the way of the Dodo bird. Good riddance too.
While cars may soon become driverless, the bottom line is that consumers are driving changes in the retail landscape at an accelerated pace. The travel industry isn’t immune to these changes. That’s why Amadeus is putting the spotlight on top retailing trends around Inspiration, Differentiation, Personalisation, Conversion and Relationship, with a view to exploring what they mean for our customers in 2017.
There’s never been a more exciting time to work in travel, especially now that technology is beginning to equip brands to deliver the ultimate travel experience. I look forward to working with you throughout 2017.