We all relish traveling don’t we? The joy of visiting new places, learning different cultures, observing varied languages, exposing ourselves to a whole new world, who wouldn't love traveling! When it comes to the inconveniences attached to it, however, not so much. At some point or the other, we’ve all faced situations where we’ve aspired to visit a certain place yet been unable to, owing to the travel inconveniences involved or the extensive distance to be overcome.
There are suitable flights to choose from, desirable staying venues to decide, respectable travel agencies to select, it's a long-winded struggle. The solution offered for this is … well, the technology of course!
Over the past several years, technology has been making headway in revolutionizing businesses as well as industries, completely overturning the way they are operated. The travel industry is definitely no exception to this revolution, rather it remains one of the leading few industries that has adopted technology-based advancements.
Technologies in the Travel Industry
Technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Augmented reality (AR), as well as Virtual Reality (VR), are some of the dominant contributors playing a part in revolutionizing the industry. For example, the employment of machine learning, as well as virtual assistants, is allowing travel experiences to become more automated, customized as well as cost-effective according to the preferences of the tourist.
Chatbots and Virtual Assistants are also aiding in boosting customer experience. AR and VR are being employed to prompt travelers by allowing them to navigate to exotic destinations and determine the details by themselves. Yet one technology that plays a crucial hand in advancing this industry is the Internet of Things (IoT).
The Internet of Things (IoT) in the Travel Industry
IoT holds extensive potential among all the aforementioned technologies owing to its capacity of facilitating a common platform for each of these technologies to connect.
Although various industries can acquire an edge through this technology, tourism is one of the sectors which stands to benefit the most as the IoT can allow for more automation, better personalization as well as a boost in the customer experience. Simultaneously it can also simplify routine tasks involved in operating a hotel or a travel business.
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IoT is aiding the travel industry in numerous areas for instance the employment of smart devices can aid in enhancing the physical condition of a hotel as well as its rooms while also cutting down on energy expenses. In the case of flights, the IoT sensors can be employed for notifying the staff in case a passenger’s anxiety levels are escalating beyond a particular level. Alongside this, IoT can also facilitate tourists with better control and admission to data through their phones.
6 Applications of IoT in the Travel Industry
From aiding in enhancing customer experience as well as enabling greater automation and personalization, there are numerous applications that IoT offers in the Travel Industry. Let’s check out 6 of them below:
One crucial application of IoT in the travel industry is to allow a higher level of personalization in hotels as well as flights. This has been facilitated by allowing customers to handle more appliances or services via centralized devices like tablets or through their phones.
With the execution of features like lighting and heating which are enabled by the internet, customers can switch them on or off from a single location. Alongside this, they can even decide on a particular temperature as well as light level and with the device inadvertently maintaining these levels. This technology can also be employed on planes for controlling features like the temperature of the seat or the air conditioning.
IoT aids in simplifying customer experience in various sections of the travel industry. For instance, airports can employ these sensors to notify the information of their passengers through their smartphones such as letting them know if their baggage is close by and thus aiding them in finding it more swiftly.
(Speaking of customer experience, check out how Disney World is enhancing theirs through the use of IoT)
Yet another excellent IoT example in making travel more flawless is Alexa, the smart speaker produced by Amazon. The voice assistant allows passengers to perform actions like ordering pizzas, booking taxis, etc. For instance, United Airlines has incorporated smart device flight check-ins through smart speakers from Amazon and Google Home as well as through Fitbit’s Ionic smartwatch. The United app permits customers to get information on the flight status as well as boarding pass without them needing to take out their phones.
Smart speakers have proven to be one of the biggest aids in advance online check-ins. With future passengers gearing up and trying to manage all the travel preparations, the smart speaker becomes a useful feature aiding them in their flight endeavors.
In the case of hotels, the check-in procedure can be made simpler, with hotels delivering electronic key cards on the phones of the guests which allow the guests to automatically be checked in the hotel without the need of stopping at the front desk. IoT sensors can also be employed for notifying restaurant staff when a guest has arrived and promptly update them with the correct table number.
Applications of IoT in the Travel Industry
Smart Energy Saving
Along with enabling personalization IoT also facilitates firms with financial perks with automated energy saving. For example in hotels, IoT sensors and devices can be incorporated to help in regularly adjusting room temperatures, so that the cooling feature, for instance, gets used only when the need arises.
The same feature can also be used when it comes to lighting. For example, hotel chains like Hilton and Marriott are experimenting with various varied takes on the ‘connected room’ concept, with users being able to regulate various features of the room through their smartphones or tablets. These IoT sensors are able to spot the levels of natural light in the room, cutting down the power of light bulbs in the process, thus allowing less energy to go to waste and ensuring that high-powered lighting is only adopted when the light levels are minimal enough.
The firms involved in the travel sector can also employ the IoT to garner useful data and to deliver data to customers that is location-specific.
The combination of smartphones with a beacon or other sensor technology ensures that travel businesses deliver relevant messages to tourists, taking into account their present location.
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For instance, this could be delivering messages regarding local attractions and their best accessible times, or to update on closeby services for public transport. Alongside this, the IoT devices can also be employed to garner precise data regarding the number of people who are utilizing particular hotel services at specific times, to enhance the staffing levels.
Maintenance & Repairs
The IoT can also be employed for aiding IoT devices by facilitating real-time, useful data regarding their working order as well as present status. This is also crucial for the devices working in the travel and tourism industry, which allows for important devices to be fixed or replaced to prevent them from stopping working.
For instance, in case a radiator or a light bulb stops working, the hotel staff can be notified. In the case of airlines, the IoT can be adopted for enabling them to fuel the planes more effectively, saving time and money, and also aid in ensuring that damaged parts are replaced at the appropriate time and ensure proper safety.
IoT primarily involves supplementing internet connectivity to everyday devices and appliances, thus enabling them to interact together, offering a range of varying perks for the players of the travel industry. This includes the dexterity of delivering an excellent customer experience and optimizing internal processes.
Facilitating Parking Information
This might seem like a less crucial factor to consider, but as per Research, a high level of time, money, and fuel of drivers get wasted while they search for empty parking spaces. While performing actions like catching a plane this could be an inconvenience and lead to the driver paying over average rate unwillingly. IoT parking technology offers benefits to resolve this issue.
This technology allows the user to reserve a parking space in advance who is then guided to the correct row and spot of the parking garage. The firms that facilitate parking services can keep tabs on the details through IoT sensors which display factors like the top usage times, the average number of cars that enter and exit per hour, if the garage is fully occupied, and so on.
The above applications are just the start of the IoT devices penetrating into the travel industry and revolutionizing it. From allowing automated check-ins as well as check-outs to hotel rooms, aiding tourists in finding their travel stops to accessing the operations of airline engines, IoT has begun spreading its presence in various travel industry operations. Alongside aiding travel firms in enhancing their customer experience and boosting their revenue IoT is also helping them in focusing on improving customer retention.
Future innovations in IoT have the scope to further revolutionize the travel industry. It’s crucial for present companies to include IoT in their present approaches to seek the advantages of innovations in the future, as and when they occur.