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5 Technologies That Are Revolutionizing the Travel Industry

January 10, 2018 No Comments

Featured article by Jeremy Sutter, Independent Technology Author

Booking a flight today is much different than it was just a decade ago. With the rise of smartphones, tablets and peer-to-peer travel booking sites, technology has completely changed the way people travel. From travel apps to futuristic wearable technology, here is a look at 5 innovative technologies that have revolutionized the travel and tourism industry:


With smartphones, consumers have nearly everything they need for their next trip in the palm of their hands. Apps like Skyscanner can be used to make flight, hotel room or even rental car reservations. In addition to booking options, this app also allows consumers to identify the cheapest times to fly. Upon arrival at the airport, many airlines now offer digital features like remote check-in or real-time travel alerts to help consumers keep track of their flights. Once consumers have arrived at their destination, they can use apps like Google Maps or Citymapper to navigate their new city by foot, car or even public transportation. Thanks to the widespread availability of rapid application development tools, nearly anyone can make an app and there are very few travel functions that cannot be executed from a smartphone.


For airports and travelers alike, security and safety while traveling have become top concerns. To address this, a number of airports have begun to employ new technology that uses biometric data such as fingerprints or iris-recognition to improve airport security. Major U.S. travel hubs like LAX and JFK have begun using automated passport control (APC) kiosks to help manage queues at arrivals. These smart devices are responsible for photographing and fingerprinting passengers and matching that data with information stored in their passports. Due to their growing popularity in the U.S., these devices are now being used in major airports across Australia and the UK.

Sharing Technology

The rise of popular sharing technologies like the internet-based VRBO or the Uber smartphone app have also changed the way people travel. Vacation rental sites like VRBO are excellent examples of the sharing economy. These peer-to-peer sharing and matchmaking services allow travelers to connect with homeowners looking to rent out a room or entire home for a short period of time. In response to the popularity of these vacation rental services, secondary marketplaces like Guesty have emerged to help hosts manage the booking, cleaning and repair of their rentals. Apps like Uber are another type of innovative sharing technology. This app has pioneered on-demand ride-sharing services. In just minutes, travelers can quickly request a car directly from their smartphones. Once the ride has been requested and the driver is en route, riders can connect with their driver, track their location and securely pay for the fare using pre-saved credit card information.

Online Reviews

As technology continues to rock the travel and tourism industry, it has also begun to change the relationship between customers and businesses. Rather than working with a travel agent, customers are now far more likely to research destinations or make travel arrangements on the internet. When customers get online to research a company, they now have constant access to honest and up-to-date reviews from other users about their experience with a travel-related product, service or company. In fact, research shows that 84% of people trust recommendations over other forms of advertising. This encourages more frequent customer engagement online

Wearable Technology

While this is still a budding technology, wearables have slowly begun to make their mark in the travel industry. Thanks to popular devices like the Apple Watch, travel companies have again been challenged to change their processes to meet this new demand. As such, travel technologies like smartwatch boarding passes and remote access to hotel rooms have begun to emerge.

With technology changing by the nanosecond, so is travel tech. As the travel industry continues to adapt and evolve to new technologies, improvements will continue to be made.


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