FEATURE: The latest trends in travel and tourism
JAKARTA (The Jakarta Post/ANN) - Travellers get a much easier way to plan their trips thanks to technology development.
With the rise of low-cost airlines and a growing middle class around the world, the tourist industry has changed immensely. Although traditional travel comprising planned packages and all-inclusive stays is still alive and well, other types of travel are booming. Technology plays a significant role in many of the advancements in travel and tourism. Ten years ago, travelers had to buy or print a map, whereas today they can access one on their mobile phones.
At any rate, technology isn’t the only factor for change within the world of travel. Lifestyles of today are entirely different. Travelers have more information, more access and overall higher expectations for their journeys. So, let’s take a closer look at some of the latest trends in the travel and tourist industry in 2019.
A long weekend trip out of town has become one of the more popular recent trends in travel. As flight connections improve and the price of car rentals drop, it’s never been easier to skip town and go on a short adventure. Accommodation also plays a significant role in the ease of planning a great micro trip. The widespread availability of these three key factors allows travelers the opportunity to see somewhere new in a short time.
For local economies, this is a serious advantage. There’s no need to wait for summertime to roll around to start raking in profit. Micro trips inject small, albeit helpful bursts of money into smaller economies throughout the year. As far as travelers are concerned, a micro trip is also an excellent way for them to travel on a budget.
Reserving a hotel room or car can happen at the click of a button. There’s no need to call or show up in person to book or make reservations for your upcoming trip. As our world gravitates more toward instant gratification, online booking is becoming more commonplace. In fact, over half of all travel reservations take place online.
With more websites and mobile apps dedicated to travel, it’s no surprise that online booking is taking over. The ease of use and quick confirmation it allows for makes it easier for travelers to prepare for their trips in less time. Not to mention, it can be cheaper to book ahead online rather than waiting to reserve in person on the day of.
Making someone feel like they are one in a million is a sure-fire way to earn their adoration. When it comes to traveling, creating a more unique and personal experience can have the same effect. The tourist industry is working harder than ever to deliver personalized experiences to tourists. With more travel companies out there, the stakes are raised and people won’t stand for just any kind of trip anymore.
The more personal a specific travel experience is, the more popular it is likely to become. People of today want to be out there living their best lives. Consider that companies which work to give travelers a picture-perfect holiday will fare better than those who offer only the basics.
Accommodation pioneer Airbnb was one of the first businesses out there to offer what we know as curated experiences in travel. Although travel agencies have long been putting together packages that exhibit local life, these experiences take that to another level. With experiential travel, tourists can walk in the shoes of locals by eating the same food and visiting places off the beaten path.
Traditional travel experiences are often marked by tourist traps and destinations that are geared toward foreigners. However, travelers of today don’t seem to be interested in those experiences anymore. They want unique and authentic experiences, and companies like Airbnb and Booking.com are delivering that.
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It would seem that AI has taken over the world. From social media algorithms to spam filters, artificial intelligence surrounds us almost every day. When it comes to travel and tourism, AI is leading the way for a more comfortable and user-friendly experience.
Consider the prevalence of chatbots in the travel industry. While making arrangements and booking their next vacation, people who encounter problems don’t have to worry if no one on staff is there to help. Cheapflights employs a chatbot that can help users make decisions about where to go or even give them recommendations. In the eyes of a traveler, this gives a personal touch to the otherwise impersonal process of researching destinations and booking online.
It’s been a long time since Google Maps launched its street view feature, but it’s had a considerable effect on the travel industry. Travelers are no longer in the dark about what a destination looks like in person or how to find their hotel. The reality is that it’s never been easier to hop online and visit some place virtually.
The use of virtual reality in travel is only going to grow as time goes on. That’s because the cost of virtual reality is quite low. All it takes is a smartphone or tablet and Wi-Fi to be able to virtually visit somewhere and prepare for your upcoming trip. When it comes to travel agents, virtual reality also allows them to improve their knowledge. That means that they can provide a better experience for their customers in the future.
Gone are the days of buying foldable maps in travel agencies and heading out into the unknown. With the major advances in technology, the landscape of travel and tourism has changed completely. Travelers of today also expect more unique and personal experiences. Not to mention, they prefer the immediacy that booking online allows them.
Nevertheless, there seems to be a growing trend of traveling for shorter periods or exploring on a micro trip. Tourists of today want to maximize their time as much as possible. After all, there is a bounty of beautiful places out there in the world. The travel and tourist industry will only continue to thrive as modern travelers quench their thirst for adventure.
Erica Sunarjo is a writer and translator with a master’s degree in marketing. She combines her passion for writing with her interest in research and creates thought-provoking content in various fields. What inspires her the most in her writing is traveling and meeting new people. She is now a regular editor at a popular translation service called The Word Point.