You can feel it in the air – things are definitely turning around in the travel sector – judging by the long lines I’ve been seeing wherever I’ve gone lately, be it Perth, Hong Kong, LA – it seems that airports are getting busier and busier. A good barometer of how well things are going in Silicon Valley is the amount of traffic – lots of traffic – things are going well – little traffic – look out!
While more travel is great for both travel and hospitality companies – the more crowded it gets, the worse the experience is. The trick is to keep the experience improving, while the volumes increase. And that’s not so easy.
Luckily, seamlessness is on its way. Using the right combination of big data analytics, the internet of things and automation, you can easily (and inexpensively) improve the experience of the traveler, while at the same time increase the number of travelers running through the system.
Imagine a seamless experience while traveling: you get to your hotel and bypass the front desk. You smartphone is running an app which communicates to Bluetooth low energy (BLE) beacons at the door – just walking into the hotel checks you in. The front desk is notified that you are here. You walk straight the the elevator and up to your floor. Your phone beeps and you look at it, it tells you to turn right to get to your room. Once you get within a few feet of your door, it unlocks for you, using a smartlock keyed to an app on your phone. For added security, the guest can optionally add a passcode on the phone app to unlock that way. Once inside, the door automatically locks behind them. The front desk is notified that the customer is in the room and can make a courtesy call to ask if they need anything. Optionally, the guest can order and book things on their phone. A few hours later, their phone tells them that someone who is also interesting in a round of golf over the weekend just checked in. Our guest then chats with that person and they set up a round for Saturday, booking the tee times as he walks out the door for his meeting. As he walks away, the door, sensing that he has left, automatically locks behind them…
And that’s just the beginning of the story….
The travel industry is set for a robust recovery as confident consumers increase leisure spending and c-suites send more employees on the road to meet clients. This is expected to accelerate the pace of growth of the global multi-trillion-dollar industry, directly and indirectly responsible for 9.5% of global GDP last year and some 266 million jobs.