IoT-connected devices have evolved from being an emerging technology to becoming a mainstream technology. But the one sector where this technology is enjoying wide usage is the travel and tourism industry.
IoT has become a game-changer for the travel and tourism industry. It is poised to bring about significant disruptions for the tourism industry especially in terms of personalized services, security enhancements and operational optimization.
Whether you run hotels, own a travel agency, or offer any sort of travel services, you need to consider investment in IoT technology as it can bring substantial changes for your business. But what kind of changes are we talking about, and why is it being called a game changer?
This article attempts to answer these questions and offers an insight into how IoT-enabled devices are proving productive for this industry.
#01 IoT for Personalization
Personalization is a crucial aspect of tourism, but IoT in travel and tourism industry can help here by gathering and analysing customers’ data and learning about their preferences. This data can then be used by travel apps to send personalized information to tourists.
If a tourist has previously expressed an interest in vegan food, then they could be sent information about top-rated vegan eateries in their areas. Similarly, IoT devices can be used to track the location of tourists and alert them about nearby markets, events, or cultural centres that they might be interested in.
Personalization can offer a more memorable travel experience to tourists. Other ways in which IoT can personalize the travel experience include:
- Recommendation engines for suggesting eateries, and other tourist attractions based on their interests
- Location-based services to notify tourists about on-going events that they might be interested in
- Virtual assistants to answer tourists’ questions and offer them personalized services like translating foreign languages
#02 Help at Fingertips
Security and safety of tourists have emerged as a grave concern for tourists and travellers, especially when they are visiting foreign countries that require communicating in a different language. With the help of IoT-enabled devices, the tourism departments can fortify security in the following ways:
- Utilization of IoT-powered surveillance systems in tourist destinations, hotels, and transportation hubs for real-time video monitoring and location updates
- Dissemination of critical information like emergency contact numbers, nearest police stations, and hospitals by airports, hotels, and tourism departments to provide immediate assistance to tourists
- Implementation of IoT devices to establish virtual boundaries or geo-fences around certain critical areas like forests or sensitive locations, and triggering alerts if tourists accidentally breach these boundaries, enabling swift emergency responses by authorities
#03 More Control through Automation
One of the most prevalent applications of IoT-based IT solutions for the travel industry thus far involves enhancing personalization in hotels and during flights. This can be achieved by offering customers greater control over certain amenities and services through a centralized device, like a tablet or their own smartphone.
In hotels, customers can use IoT-powered devices to control the temperature, and lighting in their room. Similar settings can be utilized on flights to control the seat lights, and AC temperature.
#04 Smooth Travel Experience
IoT offers an excellent opportunity to simplify, optimize, and offer a graceful travel experience to tourists. In airports, these devices can be used to relay information like informing users when their luggage is nearby so that they can quickly retrieve it.
Hotels can use IoT-powered devices to offer a seamless check-in experience. For example, electronic key cards can be transmitted directly to the smart-devices of guests who can use it to automatically complete the check-in procedure. Such devices can also be used in restaurants and cafes for automatic allocating tables.
Guests can be informed about waiting time during the peak time and also offer customers with recommendations after taking their food preferences.
#05 Smart Savings
A huge benefit of IoT-enabled devices is their contribution in making smart savings, especially in accommodations. IoT sensors can be used to automatically adjust the room temperature and turn lights on and off.
A great example is that of IoT-enabled taps, which automatically turns on by detecting the heat signal of your hands. Such devices will not only help to reduce energy consumption but also save money.
Smart thermostats can also be used to automatically adjust the temperature of the hotel room based on the occupancy and the weather. This can save energy by preventing the heating or cooling system from operating when it is not needed.
#06 Assisting in Nature Tourism
Nature tourism has gained worldwide attention in recent times. Environmentalists constantly visit nature-enriched places to gather more information. IoT solutions can prove useful in assisting tourists by providing information on weather like wind speed, temperature, and humidity.
This data can then be used to inform tourists about proper attire and protection tips in case of emergencies. IoT devices can also be used for monitoring sensitive zones like bird nesting grounds. This can help in managing tourism and protect the environment as well.
IoT, undoubtedly, is all set to bring about significant changes in the travel and tourism industry. The incorporation of IoT with travel software and hospitality solutions will streamline processes like automatic hotel check-ins, simplified travel navigation, and increased tourist safety.
IoT also holds the potential to improve customer services, and improve ROI. In order to stay competitive and meet evolving tourist expectations, travel industry companies should start investing into IoT-powered systems.
IoT is rapidly becoming a necessity rather than a luxury, with tourists and industry managers alike adapting to this new era, which is expected to transform the entire travel industry in the near future.