Let’s face facts; technology has driven change across multiple markets and industries during the course of the last decade.

Nowhere is this more prominent than the leisure and tourism industry, where innovation has changed everything from the way in which we book travel to the experience that we have when overseas.

Technology has also changed the way in which firms and operators deliver their services, with a clear emphasis on streamlining and experiential-based sales. This represents a move away from destination-driven travel, and these factors are certainly combining to create an exciting marketplace.

how tech has changed travel

3 ways in which Technology has changed the Travel sector

With this in mind, what are the practical ways in which technology has changed the travel sector? Here are three prime examples: –

1) Franchising has empowered independent and local agents

One of the main changes in the travel market has been the popularisation of the franchise business model, which in turn has been empowered by e-commerce and the rise of big data. This has enabled service providers such as the-travel-franchise.com to collate data and drive more streamlined operations, while also offering a comprehensive service to their clients.

In addition to driving local and more-focused travel operations, this has also empowered independent travel agents around the world. This demographic now have access to a broad consumer base and advanced technology, allowing them to compete with larger and more established rivals.

2) Customer service as gone Social

Customer service is imperative in every business and marketplace, but particularly within the travel industry. After all, international trips cost a huge amount of money while customers also have high expectations when they travel abroad.

social media customer service

In the travel industry, we have seen customer service shift from traditional channels to the more cost-effective medium of social media. This applies to every stage of the booking and travelling journey, from the delivery of automated travel updates to data tracking and luggage checking. Social media also enables travel firms and airlines to send real-time updates to customers, whether they are in need of information concerning a delayed flight or have requested pricing for a specific trip.

3) The rise of gamification, VR and Augmented Reality in the travel market

Gamification is a huge concept in 2016, and it is beginning to change the way in which travel brands incentivise customers and reward their loyalty. Take Expedia’s innovative and social experience Around the World in 100 days, which delivers real-life rewards though relevant in-game activities. Other games are also following suit, as companies look for cheaper and more interactive ways of building customer loyalty.

Around the World in 100 days expedia

The emergence of VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality) is also changing the travel sector, as these now-mainstream concepts are being used to offer engaging product information to clients in an immersive, virtual setting. These innovative technologies also offer an opportunity for travellers to visualise potential holiday experiences prior to booking, building excitement and driving informed decision making in the process.