How Technology Is Changing the Travel Industry
16 Jan 2019

How Technology Is Changing the Travel Industry

First, the trains connected the East to the West. Then the airplane connected the world. Now Technology has joined everything. Connectivity is everywhere – from our homes to our cars to our offices to planes, and everywhere in between. More connectivity means fully optimized operations and manufacturing, decreased downtime and accidents. Every industry vertical is being impacted by technology transformation. The early adopter of technology revolves around retail, healthcare and financial services industries where the impact is easy to measure and implement. One sector that is benefiting tremendously, is the travel industry — specifically, the Cruise, Airline and Automobile Industries.

Cruise Industry

The cruise line industry is upgrading its ships to include technology to enhance the travel experience for their passengers. Gone are the days of paper embarkation boarding processes, finding a staff member for directions, calling for reservations and losing plastic cabin keys. The experience for smart cruisers has completely changed to one of a digital concierge providing personalized recommendations based on preferences. The smart cruiser experience on these upgrade ships include:

Digital embarkation.

Anyone who has been on a cruise knows how painful the boarding process can be, as it’s filled with manual processes and is time-consuming because of long lines. The digital experience from MSC lets passengers expedite the boarding process by using the mobile app to complete many of the steps that historically had to be done at the embarkation station. This also has the benefit of being completely paperless, which helps the environment.

Onboard location services.

The mobile app provides an experience where passengers can pick a location to walk to, and the app can guide them. Passengers are also aided by hundreds of interactive and informative digital displays.

Interactive services.

Through the mobile app, passengers can complete a variety of tasks, such as reserve a table at a restaurant, locate their kids, and book show tickets or an excursion at one of the ports of call — saving tons of time in line at the concierge desk.

Smart cabin locks.

Instead of having to carry plastic card keys that are seemingly always being demagnetized or lost by kids, passengers can use their mobile phones or wearable technology to unlock their stateroom.

Personalized services.

A digital concierge provides personalized recommendations based on preferences. Facial recognition is in place to help staff identify people and offer them faster, tailored services. Passengers also wear interactive bracelets to connect them to the various ship services.

The Smart Cruiser has an entirely different and upgraded experience on a smart cruise. The Cruise industry is abuzz with various technology upgrades in (list the cruise lines I can with articles to each discussing DC Tech)

Airline Industry

It seems like the Airline Industry is finally joining the digital upgrade by utilizing big data to improve the customer experience. At the Passenger Technology Solutions ( conference (the world’s largest gathering focused on Passenger Experience) in Hamburg, Germany last April, personalization was the theme, and the Airline Industry was paying attention. Interest is growing to invest in significant spending on Connected Aerospace technologies, as airlines see the benefits of pairing these technologies with data analytics.

For aircraft operators, connectivity presents a new set of operational, efficiency and comfort benefits that were previously unavailable. This connectivity means more than just in-flight emails, movies, and social media posts while in flight. The Connected Aircraft revolutionizes modern-day flying, dramatically improving fleet management, flight safety, passenger and crew experience, mission effectiveness, maintenance, flight operations, aircraft turnaround time and costs. Suddenly the aircraft becomes a data-rich node on a more extensive network, leveraging new technology and more reliable high-speed Wi-Fi connections to link an airplane’s components and equipment to send, receive and analyze data immediately.

According to the Honeywell Aerospace, the number one priority for utilizing technology is to save money on maintenance. Fuel, labor, and maintenance costs are typically amongst the highest pieces of an airline’s direct operating expenses, and with fuel costs on the rise, maintenance is a target for cost savings to decrease cost. After maintenance, airline respondents indicated connected technologies should deliver benefits in pilot technologies and passenger experience. Using connected technologies will aid in reaching these goals and reducing costs.

Automobile Industry

The automobile industry has gone through a lot of changes in the last twenty-five years. We have also seen rapidly rising fuel efficiency and engine output. Furthermore, technologies improved the driving experience, such as GPS navigation systems, rear-view cameras, and keyless ignitions are just a few of the features standard in today’s car. These features are not merely accepted, but expected, by car buyers. More connectivity means fully optimized operations and manufacturing, decreased downtime and accidents, and — what everyone is waiting for — driverless vehicles. Sensors placed around cities that are then connected to apps can help drivers find parking spots faster, reducing traffic and emissions. Cars are circling a city at any given time looking for a parking spot, which means not only wasted time for drivers but unnecessary emissions for the environment. Technology can help make a better driving experience and help cities reduce traffic and improve the air at the same time.

Most of the technological advances in automobiles have been focused until now, and rightly so, on making cars safer while also providing simple user conveniences, like GPS navigation. Much of the technological magic that happens in today’s vehicles occurs under the hood, out of sight behind the dashboard, or through sensors mounted in car panels. Electric and driverless cars, the advanced state of artificial intelligence technology, increased applications of environmental sensors with onboard computer systems, and connectivity of Wi-Fi through telematics and digital platforms are revolutionizing the future of mobility.

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