Founder and CEO of LookStyler, a global marketplace for fashion tourism. Email me at [email protected]
In Ancient Greece, philosopher Heraclitus maintained that the very nature of life is change and that to resist change is to resist the essence of our existence. As the world is still crippled by the pandemic, let us spend some time examining the future travel trends and how technological advancement will shape them. The total contribution of the travel and tourism industry in 2019 was approximately 10% of the total GDP worldwide. Because this sector is one of the backbones of the global economy, let’s examine how I believe future trends will shape this area in the years to come.
In the mid- and post-Covid19 world, we will surely witness the rise of enhanced digitalization, the creation of marketplaces and the expansion of the Internet of Things (IoT). Virtual, augmented and mixed reality will slowly but surely enter our lives for good. This technology has never been so important. Just like the invention of film and television changed our sense of reality, computer-generated imagery in VR helps us have an immersive virtual experience. Virtual reality is interactive and can be very useful when we want to have a unique sensory experience.
A major breakthrough of this technology was seen in 1957 when cinematographer Morton Heilig created the Sensorama. This was the first VR machine that used multiple technologies to stimulate all the human senses. A few years after Sensorama, Heilig also patented the Telesphere Mask, the first VR head-mounted display. In 2010, 18-year old entrepreneur Palmer Luckey created the VR Oculus headset, which was later on acquired by Facebook for $2 billion. Oculus was the first headset to feature a 90-degree field of vision.
Contrary to VR, which does not feature the real world, AR is the overlaying of digitally created content on top of the real world. AR can now be experienced through headsets like Microsoft’s HoloLens. Mixed reality (MR) experience combines elements of VR and AR, an interaction between digital objects and the real world.
Extended reality (XR) is an umbrella term for all physical and virtual environments, as well as human-machine interactions. VR, AR and MR all fall within XR, which is expected to grow eightfold and reach a market size of $200 billion by 2022.
Applying this to tourism means that we could experience virtual travel from our living rooms. Being able to visit Louvre in Paris from your sofa in Colorado is something that will surely be possible sooner than you think.
The new world of travel and hospitality can integrate self-service technologies, which allow customers to get service faster and easier, without interaction with service providers.
Airport and hotel self-service check-in kiosks will surely become the norm. Room service ordering systems will need to become more automated, as will housekeeping services. A virtual concierge for guests is another solution that could improve the efficiency and safety of services. Imagine consumers booking a sightseeing