As a web development business helping our clients with online booking systems and tourism websites we try to keep ourselves on top of the latest trends on travel & tourism technologies. While the technology keeps evolving everyday it creates new challenges on businesses. Here are few trends we believe that you'd need to think of in 2018.
Helping to find the most suitable travel destination, adventure package for a user is one of the key elements in getting someone to make a booking on your website. In the conventional scenario for websites you'd have content management systems, and have those content management systems to connect itineraries for up-selling or promoting packages and destinations. When doing this the owners of the website makes the decisions, by looking at how their previous customers used their sites, which products are the most popular, what are the combined products they bought etc. The issue in this case is we make decisions for the customers.
With machine learning this can be changed and personalize content for each user, and provide the users with content which interest them. What is machine learning? Machine learning simply is that computers don't need to be told what they have to do but collect data and learn themselves and decide on the best way to achieve an objective. How it gets related to travel & tourism websites? Well in many ways. For your websites you might get two types of visitors, returning clients and new clients. When a clients lands on your website it needs to identify which category they fall into and from the moment they land on we start learning about them. It can be done by tracking their behavior, using cookies to store previous events, storing keywords they search, using their GEO location, asking them quick questions, etc.. When we collect a lot of these data we can start providing content matching these. Things like featured articles, social media contents and selecting hash tags for them, upselling products, price ranges of products.
Technology evolves so fast, and has introduced a lot of devices into the markets. Alone with many devices, these gets inter connected. Its not only personal computers and mobiles, but tablets, TVs, watches, vehicles etc. So the platforms you build needs to be ready for these new technologies. Its our view that the term Responsive Web doesn't only mean a website should use fluid layouts to support various screen sizes. When Ethan Marcotte first introduced responsive web design back in 2010 it was about arranging content of a webpage to be flexible, and fit into various screen sizes. What we believe is that websites should look into the connectivity of the new devices alone with their appearance. These are the few things we think would be useful to look at.
- Use Apple Wallet or WalletPass to store tickets you sell rather than emailing customers with PDFs then needed to be printed on ut.
- Using mobile devices as tickets, by introducing QR codes / Barcodes which can be scanned in.
- Send iCal feeds with the booking days and travel passes enabling a user to load their tickets into their devices.
- Quick and easy ways share maps and routes
When your website's grows you may want to think of moving on to the cloud. Cloud computing enables you to use a network of remote servers to store data and process them. How this is going to help your business? There is a vast amount of data in a travel & tourism solutions, and it adds up more when you offer bookings. These includes availabilities, pricing details, bookings, client's informations etc. etc. And there are high and low seasons, where in a high season a website will be flooded with users and in a low season it may not. So the ideal solution is to use cloud solutions. It enables you to have different data centers, multiple web servers when it is a high season, load balancers, queue services for purchase paths etc. You'd also benefit from the ability of scaling the computational power up and down depending on the seasons.
These are a few numbers on the internet users in 2017 to get an idea of what sort of computational power you have to think of.