Rest, Relaxation & Innovation: The Growth of the Travel Tech Industry
Why do we travel? The driving force behind purchasing that plane ticket varies for many, but we’re all seeking the same thing: an escape.
Critics would argue that a true escape means cutting ties with the modern world – especially the web of technology that always has us turned on. But in a great show of irony, technology has ushered in an ease, efficiency and excitement around traveling that’s unprecedented. And the tourism industry is fully on-board – probably because the global travel tech market is expected to exceed more than $7 billion by 2024.
Nowadays, we have access to every piece of travel tech we could possibly imagine. We can browse and compare flights and hotel room fares without having to utter one word to a travel agent. There is a smart carry-on that’s fireproof AND can power 10 devices, because God forbid your clothes catch on fire and you have no one to call. iTranslate has made us all multi-linguists, helping us bridge cultural barriers and awkward exchanges. Strap an award-winning 4K camera to your forehead and you’ve just become a Red Bull athlete meets National Geographic photographer. The tech still can’t give you wings though, so cliff-dive responsibly. Even businesses are getting involved by partnering with solutions like Lola, the #1 rated travel management app for suits on the go.
I was able to experience many of these technologies firsthand when I decided to make my own escape about a year ago. I hit pause on real life and traveled the world. I wanted to experience different countries and cultures and meet new and interesting people. But I had no idea where to begin. Technology helped me put a plan in place.
I used it all: Google Maps, flight booking apps, hotel platforms, activity guides, weather-predicting tools, blogger insights and travel websites. There’s no doubt about it – when it comes to travel, technology is king.
Gone are the days where you had to run through an airport with a manila folder containing your passport, airline ticket confirmation, hotel reservation, car reservation and “Must Do” pamphlet. We’ve traveled to a new age – one driven by technology and social media.
Today, simply scanning a barcode provides you with multiple social media handles. Experiences and adventures are immediately tweeted, storied, Instagrammed and shared while you’re in the moment, but you can keep alive the connection you have with those back home.
When I sit back and look at this transformation, I am in awe. And it makes me wonder whether we should even be trying to escape anymore. Tech has made vacations more exciting and inspired – something I didn’t even think was possible. So really, what’s so bad about rest, relaxation and innovation?