2022 turned out to be filled with ups and downs for the global tourism industry. At the start of the year, the challenge was to lure tourists back by offering social distancing friendly facilities and processes. As the rules relaxed, “revenge travel” began to bring a sudden rush of tourists. Yet many companies struggled to meet this surge in demand with fewer resources.
Technology emerged as an answer that helped us navigate these various challenges, from solutions that supported social distancing rules to tools that helped increase capacity, with fewer staff.
As we enter 2023, it is time to take stock of the evolving industry trends and the emerging technologies that can provide both new solutions and opportunities for Singapore’s tourism businesses.
Here are four travel tech trends we think will make an impact in 2023:
Expanded reality meets corporate retreats
Business travel will be back in full force in 2023. Booking. com‘s Seven Predictions for Reimagining Travel in 2023 research predicts that “survivor” themed retreats will help rebuild team spirit and camaraderie after years apart. In fact, according to their research:
- 44% of the global workforce look forward to real life team building work trips
- 51% would like to save on remote work/hybrid models spent on business trips or retreats
American Express Global Business Travel took a closer look and this year published a white paper titled Why travel is central to the new corporate culture. In it, they explain how the move to hybrid and remote work, the growing need to address employee burnout and wellbeing, and the never-ending challenge of attracting and retaining key talent are making business travel a critical time to build corporate culture.
According to the group, a successful corporate retreat will: focus on employee well-being, include personal development, emphasize company values, and most importantly, foster a strong sense of corporate culture.
So what kind of technologies can support corporate culture-driven retreats?
Extended reality is a growing tech trend that we already know reported on last year. From Augmented Reality (AR) treasure hunts, where teams must race through the city to find clues related to business value, to full Virtual Reality (VR) experiences that help build teamwork and leadership skills, this technology opens up new opportunities to create unique create activities focused on corporate culture.
While this technology has been around for a while, the market has evolved with more and more companies offering solutions that are both customizable and accessible to businesses of all sizes. Xactuality, CityGuydAnd SmartGuide are three cohorts from the Singapore Tourism Board’s Accelerator program who piloted this year with STB partners, enabling them to build virtual experiences for guests and customers.
Learn more about how to create more immersive visitor experiences here.
Generative AI is entering the tourism industry
Artificial intelligence is a technology that is already widely used by tourism companies. AI based customer service robots, online chat botsand customer data analytics tools help speed response times, relieve overworked staff from certain tasks, and generate deeper insights into customer satisfaction in seconds.
Generative AI, also known as generative adversarial networks (GANs), is now taking the technology’s potential to the next level, allowing AI to not only copy and replicate, but also create original text, images, and more. Some of the most popular early examples include GPT-3, a language model that can produce fake stories in the style of famous writers, and DALL-E, an AI model that can create original images from prompts.
While this technology is still in its infancy, there are some exciting new opportunities that generative AI can offer travel companies.
For example, the hospitality industry could use Generative AI to design new hotel concepts and layouts or develop virtual tours of their facilities for potential customers. MICE planners could use this technology to generate a number of personalized travel route options for customers with just a few clicks.
For both conference planners and attractions, being able to easily generate different layouts can help them find the best options to minimize event congestion, identify potential safety issues, and drive foot traffic to certain locations.
Make payments hassle-free with biometric technology
The adoption of biometric identification and payment systems is a growing trend that Amadeus is using in their Travel Trends Report 2023. These smart systems allow guests to check in, upgrade their seats and even shop with a simple fingerprint or retinal scan.
For example, food and beverage provider Hudson has opened a number of “non-stop shops” in US airports using Amazon One biometric technology. These systems allow customers to pay simply by holding their hand in front of the kiosk sensor.
You can’t get more personal than that.
Not ready for biometrics yet? Digital payment solutions, such as payment apps, digital wallets, buy now, pay later and account-to-account (A2A) payments, make it even easier for customers to spend while on vacation. And that’s exactly what they want: effortless transactions.
If you’re looking for new technologies this year but don’t know where to start, Tcube can help you find the right partners, develop a technology roadmap and launch a successful pilot program. Learn more here.
This article was originally published on the Singapore Tourism Board Tcube website.