Real Time Travel Technologies
T The internet has truly changed the way that travellers plan their holidays, and businesses conduct their business in the travel sector. Travel is one of the largest industries, and is being affected by ICT innovation, as much as any other industry. In fact, the Travel and Tourism industry has become the single largest category of products/services sold over the Internet. The number of business transactions in this industry online is growing exponentially, and the widespread use of ICT will likely be associated with new patterns of activity and travel. In the future, tourism will be more customized for individual travellers. Many large tourism companies have already responded to this finding by designing their own global reservation and distribution systems. In the future, policy, technology, and operations will have to coincide, and collaborate to ensure the best ICT travel products, and experiences for consumers.
Consumers no longer want to spend time searching a variety of different websites, and making phone calls to book requests for travel. Now, travel consumers have access to sites that rely on global reservation and distribution systems, as well as site that collaborate and partner with one another to cross-promote and share profits. ICT in tourism will not only help for administration, but also to satisfy consumers with quick and relevant information. Consumers can now have immediate confirmation of reservations, and more last minute booking options. Tourist satisfaction will thus increase with the increased use of ICT with more accurate, and relevant tourist information, as well as prompt responses to queries. In addition, tourists can now use a plethora of mobile apps to navigate through new countries, and cities with ease. Mobile apps ranging from restaurant reviews, to online booking for events, and museums are some more traditional form of apps in the tourism industry. However, now more and more apps are being created for new niches, such as apps that help you meet locals to hang out with, and apps that help you to rent
From the tourism side, the rapid growth of travellers is one clear call for the use of ICT in the travel industry. Travel agents use ICT technologies to ensure that they can provide their customers with excellent travel experiences. Travel agents often use online bookings, satellite navigation to hire cars, autopilot/in flight entertainment, and bus/train timetables tracking. However, in a broader sense, travel technology includes computer reservations systems, virtual tourism, eTourism, as well as dynamic packaging. eTourism analyzes, defines, and implements IT and e-commerce products in the travel and tourism industry. Travel technologies are increasingly broadening, as more technologies come in to play. Now, travel technology is being utilized to manage, and monitor travel, in addition to travel tracking, and flight tracking features.
Travel technology also helps more than just travel agents. Real-time travel information systems give operators real-time information on traffic conditions, departures, vehicle movements, and mass transit statuses for transportation providers, and government officials.
In fact, travel and tourism is such an important sector that the European Union recently created the Information & Communication Technologies and tourism business initiative, which aims to discover how to boost the competitiveness of small businesses in the European tourism sector and create more jobs.