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Tech tourism: Exploring the intersection of travel and technology


By Avalith Editorial Team ♦ 1 min read



Smart tourism is on the rise, thanks to technology that is transforming the way we travel and engage with the tourism sector. From using artificial intelligence to personalize the traveler's experience to virtual reality and augmented reality to offer immersive experiences, smart tourism is changing the way we experience the tourism world.

But that's not all; digital tourism trends encompass virtual reality experiences, online planning and booking tools, personalized travel recommendations through artificial intelligence, and the use of social media for destination marketing. By leveraging these digital tools, the tourism industry can adapt to changes in consumer behaviors and expectations, offering richer, more interactive, and convenient travel experiences. Below, we'll delve into some of them in detail.

Generative AI: Personalized Travel Assistance

Generative artificial intelligence (AI) emerges as the "new normal" in tourism in 2024. This technological advancement will benefit not only travelers but also travel specialists and property owners.

With generative AI systems, travelers will have virtual assistants to facilitate booking their trips, while travel professionals can optimize their operations, and property owners can reduce redundant work, thus gaining personal time, allowing them to provide authentic and memorable experiences to travelers.

To date, the primary use of artificial intelligence within tourism has been chatbots and direct messaging. However, the role of artificial intelligence doesn't end there; major hotel chains have already begun experimenting with AI-powered robots, which can provide directions and other tourist information in response to human speech.

Internet of Things (IoT)


The Internet of Things, or IoT for short, can be briefly described as a network of ordinary objects and physical devices equipped with capabilities that allow them to connect and share data over the Internet.

The tourism industry has enthusiastically adopted IoT technology. An increasing number of hotels include smart devices in rooms, providing guests with a greater sense of control. Contactless check-in services at hotels also utilize IoT technology. Airports use mobile apps to enable customers to access updated flight information through their phones.

Another key advancement in this area has been the rise of driverless vehicles. Driverless taxis and trains use the Internet to access real-time data, intelligently respond to the latest information, and provide customers with automated services that reduce costs for travel industry companies.

Virtual Reality (VR)

Virtual reality is essentially a technology that serves to make users feel as if they are physically present in a digitally created environment, allowing them to experience different images and sounds.

Through virtual reality, travel companies can help potential customers experience the hotel or nearby attractions before making a reservation, as well as aspects of vacations, such as a trip to a famous attraction, using VR headsets and 360-degree videos.

Meanwhile, other hotel booking websites are leveraging that technology to explore virtual recreations of rooms. That is, instead of just reading descriptions, customers will be able to experience hotel rooms even before booking them.

Augmented Reality (AR)

Another emerging trend in tourism management, closely related to virtual reality, is augmented reality. Unlike virtual reality, augmented reality uses digital technology to alter the experience of the real-life environment and make it interactive, as if we were inside it.

Existing examples of AR in hotels include mural maps that, when viewed through a smartphone app, provide users with more information about local attractions and how to get there. Others use AR games to enhance guests' stay at their hotel.

Additionally, augmented reality can also enhance the environment outside the hotel. This could allow visitors to point their phones at the restaurant to look up reviews or point their phones at an old building and see it as it would have appeared many years ago.

Green Technology: Environmental Commitment to Tourism

Sustainability will become an essential pillar of tourism in 2024, with a growing focus on "green technology." This category encompasses eco-friendly solutions designed to reduce human impact on the environment.

Leading companies have already committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2030. In the hotel and vacation rental industry, a significant increase in the adoption of eco-friendly practices is expected, from automation to the use of alternative energies. This commitment will not only contribute to the preservation of the environment but also generate more bookings and satisfaction from environmentally conscious guests.

5G: Ultra-fast Connectivity for Immersive Experiences


The implementation of 5G will mark a substantial shift in connectivity for travelers. From remote areas to cruises, Internet, television, and mobile phone speeds will experience significant improvements. This advancement will allow for faster bookings through social networks, as well as immersive experiences through virtual reality or high-quality streaming.

Additionally, the incorporation of IoT sensors will facilitate data analysis, contributing to a deeper understanding of traveler preferences and improving operational efficiency.

Recognition Technology

Finally, recognition technology is especially interesting within this list of key technological trends, due to its potential to eliminate friction from purchases and make interactions seamless. The technology itself includes fingerprint recognition, facial recognition, retinal scanning, and various other biometric identifiers.

Some hotels are already using it to allow access to rooms via fingerprints or to enable semi-contactless check-out. However, in the future, this technology is expected to allow customers to pay for meals at the hotel restaurant simply by walking out.

With digital technology continuously evolving, it should come as no surprise that its applications within the tourism industry are also evolving. The race to offer revolutionary experiences and excellent service has begun, and the winner will be whoever best adapts to the new technological era.