We live in a time where technology weighs heavily into our day to day. With more of us traveling than ever before, it is natural that we see tech in the travel industry as well. New travel technology has changed how travelers, trip organizers, destinations, and suppliers interact with one another, making it so important to be in touch with the latest advancements.
Knowing what the landscape looks like in the industry means you can keep your tour operator business ahead of its competitors. Reaching and appealing to travelers on the platforms, technologies, and mediums they use will help you to secure more of the market.
New Travel Technology For Tour Operator Businesses
These are some of the latest technological advancements that you can use to bridge the gap with both your tour clients and suppliers.
Virtual Cards For Strengthening Vendor Relationships
If you use the WeTravel platform to collect payments from clients and manage their travel bookings, you will know just how lifechanging a virtual card can be when it comes to paying vendors. Not only does it speed up the process of transacting online, but it also removes borders by allowing you to pay in any currency without exchange rate fees.
A virtual card works in the same way as a regular plastic one. The difference is that it is cardless. In the case of WeTravel’s card, you can use it online or telephonically anywhere that Visa® is accepted. Today, of course, that is pretty much everywhere.
Using this new travel technology can help you to build better relationships with your suppliers. Setting the mood with efficient payment systems can help you both get off on the right foot when it comes to ensuring your clients are looked after. This is key because your suppliers are an integral part of your client’s travel experience, especially if they are directly involved in delivering the actual services.
Mobile Technology To Connect With Travelers
Today, cell phones are an extension of ourselves. Travelers use them to research and book a trip, browse activities, get navigational guidance, locate restaurants – mobile is really at our side every step of the way.
While mobile technology is hardly new travel technology as it has been around for years, it does mean that now is the time for travel companies to jump on the mobile-first bandwagon, if they haven’t already.
Embracing this mindset means having a website that looks great on mobile. It is being available on apps such as messenger or WhatsApp to answer travel queries. Or delivering booking confirmations or travel guides to email. The traveler should be able to access everything from the palm of their hand in apps and platforms that they already use without having to move onto a desktop or download anything else.
Virtual and Augmented Reality To Enhance Tour Discovery Process
With the technology for virtual reality (VR) becoming more affordable and therefore accessible, tour operators are picking up on the benefits of using it to enhance the tour discovery process.
As an even more immersive discovery experience than video, VR is ideal for showcasing experiences as it simulates the destination environment. For travelers, it is particularly attractive as they can get a feel for the destination in question. It can help them to answer questions they may have about the location before making a booking.
While VR is known in gaming or entertainment, the tourism industry is catching on with tour operators digitally transporting clients to a destination so they can see it firsthand. Not only do they get to see it, but they can interact with it too by touching and moving things, looking around, etc. Its entry into the new travel technology space helps to nudge travelers further down the sales funnel, turning leads into conversions.
There is also augmented reality (AR) to consider. Currently, it is popular in hotels where they are using it to provide an extra layer of information about their services once the travelers have arrived for their stay.
Another example of AR is mobile apps which travelers can download to discover more about a location. AR can be used to extend ordinary marketing materials, such as a map, or in destination to provide real-time information. With the app open on their mobile or tablet, travelers can move it around to find out more about the location they are in and discover what the famous landmarks are and find out about their history.
This example below is an app designed by Poppr showing a travel brochure extension.
Latest Cameras To Capture Out Of This World Imagery
While cameras aren’t new, there is new travel technology to be discovered in this space. With sophisticated (and affordable) new products hitting the market daily, there is no excuse for average travel imagery on your website and marketing materials.
Tour operators can use drones or cameras with 360-degree image and video capability to capture compelling imagery. Travelers expect to see amazing shots, and it has become entirely possible to fulfill this expectation.
AI Client Assistance
One of the regular applications for AI within the travel industry is to provide customer service. Chatbots are commonplace on websites, immediately answering and solving a variety of basic travel questions or queries related to the business.
Over time, the technology has progressed, and AI chatbots are now capable of providing meaningful answers to questions. This relatively new travel technology allows tour operators to focus their time on the interactions where speaking to a person is necessary, as well as keep in touch with travelers after hours.
360˚ Virtual Reality video – click and hold, then use your mouse to explore Hamilton Island with Qantas
By knowing what the latest technology in travel is, you can use it to your business advantage. Implementing these innovations in your day to day will get ahead of your competitors, as well as improve your relationships with your clients and suppliers.