By 2030, it’s expected that holidayers will encounter zero human beings when checking into a hotel. It’s also expected that majority of processes will be digitalised- from check in to room service and all the in between, human employees will slowly be eradicated from the future of the tourism industry. Each year, we experience crazy advancements in technology and societal norms. So, what can we envision the future of holidaying to look like?
Virtual Reality Hotel Tours
With the rise of virtual reality and the increased accessibility to the technology, you can expect virtual reality hotel tours to come sooner than expected. Yep, instead of going onto an online booking site and scrolling through images of rooms and suites, you can put on a pair of VR goggles and walk your way through the hotel. In fact, this is already happening now! The Atlantis in Dubai were one of the first major accommodation chains to roll out this feature. If you had access to a 360º view of your room, pool and facilities, would you be more inclined to book your accommodation there?
Artificial Intelligence Services
Artificial intelligence has a pretty broad spectrum these days, from Siri on your iPhone to actual self-automated robots, but the future of artificial intelligence in the tourism industry seems to be bright. In the not-too-far-away future, artificial intelligence will be used to create a seamless and hassle free experience for holidaymakers. AI will be used for concierge services, where you can expect to be greeted by a smart-bot who will check you in to your room and answer any questions you may have, without the need of a human being. In your hotel room itself, you can expect voice command services to be commonplace, a similar experience to ‘Google Home’ or ‘Amazon Alexa’. By pressing a button or simply saying your commands out loud, the artificial intelligence will recognise your voice and allow you the ability to order room service, food, organise alarms, open up the hotel room blinds and turn on the TV, just by using your voice!
Smart Glasses Taken to New Heights
We’ve seen smart glasses roll out from major companies like Snapchat and Sony, but in the future you can expect these to be widely available at a pretty affordable cost. Tourism bodies will jump at the opportunity to create a virtual reality experience through smart glasses, with the ability to sell these to tourists or even rent them out at popular sites. So what exactly will this look like? Picture yourself at the Berlin Wall- your smart glasses will display an identical scene of the wall being constructed in 1961, complete with a soundscape and visual display of history unfolding right in front of you. Or, find yourself traveling throughout Istanbul, stumbling across the ruins of old Constantinople. Simply put on your smart glasses and look up to see the ruins turn into the incredible Walls and Towers of Constantinople above you. Your glasses immediately transport you to the fall of the city in 1453AD. You can see, and almost feel, the crusaders fighting in front of you as screams ring around your ears. Simply remove your smart glasses and the visions will dissolve back into the real-world. It will be of huge educational and historical benefit to see how the world looked before your time, but at this cost many human tour guides will lost their jobs to smart glasses and virtual reality apps.
Hospitality Changes The Way You Order Food
Your smartwatch buzzes and you receive a notification that your blood sugar levels are dropping. This means it’s time to eat. Your smartwatch is connected to your smartphone and smart glasses (lots of smart things, huh). Your phone lights up with local restaurants nearby, with each offering a competitive discount or special offer over one another in order to entice tourists to eat there. Your smartphone will read out reviews, and once you’ve found the perfect spot to eat, the smartphone will give you a list of menu options to choose from. You can order ahead of time, allowing yourself a few minutes to travel to the restaurant and sit down at your reserved seat. Before you know it, your meal is in front of you and you can simply pay with the tap of a button on your phone. Another epic invention worth keeping an eye out for is ‘self ordering’. All the customer has to do is sit down at a table and interact with the touch screen to create the perfect meal according to their tastes and preferences. This all sounds way too easy, and it probably is! It’s a bit of a win-lose situation for the restaurants though, as wait staff and restaurant greeters will most likely lose their jobs, but due to the ease of getting feet through the door, restaurants will see an increased number of people coming to dine.
Bigger Crowds and Busier Sites
Sorry to break this one to you, but in the future you can unfortunately expect your travels to be a whole lot more crowded. When air travel first came to the market, only the wealthy were able to afford to fly overseas and experience the world. Fast forward to today and travel is now something that most middle-class folk can afford, whether it be interstate or overseas. To give you some stats behind what I’m talking about, around 25 million people were travelling in the 1950s. Today, this figure sits at 1.2 billion people. The world’s population is tipped to increase dramatically by 2030, with most of these numbers coming from Asia and Africa. The minimum wage in overseas countries is also expected to rise and push more and more workers into the ‘middle-class’ range. This means a vast and increased majority of people will now be able to afford to travel, and the demand for travel will be increased tenfold. By 2030, you can expect the global number of travellers to increase by 629 million.
Cleaner and More Efficient Travel
One of the main benefits of our growing technology is that this will lead to a more sustainable method of travelling, be it by plane, car, train or ship (or rocket… I’ll explain that further on). Flying times are expected to be reduced by hours, and this can already be seen with Qantas as a great example, flying their Qantas Dreamliner to key destinations at a fraction of the time in air. Fuel will become much more efficient, massively reducing CO2 and NOx emissions. Design changes to planes and trains will allow for natural and air to flow in, eliminating the need for generated lighting and air conditioning. There’s a whole heap of greener initiatives to look forward to. Commercial rocket travel is also likely to be starting up around 2030. Elon Musk is the brains behind SpaceX BFR, the rocket aircraft which aims to take you from any location around the world in less than 40 minutes. Travellers board a ship where they are inbound for the rocket aircraft. The rocket takes off from its launch pad and travels at incredibly high speeds to land in another main city’s harbour. The total time? Well, you can expect to travel from Sydney to Tokyo in 35 minutes. And the price? At the moment with the technology still being drafted, tickets are cost to set you back a few thousand dollars. But the price may be worth it for shorter flying times and cleaner travel.