The tourism industry has changed significantly in recent years, and technology has played a big role in that change. From the way we book our travel to the way we experience new places, technology has had a significant impact on tourism. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, travel and tourism are some of the world’s largest industries, accounting for 10% of global GDP. And as the industry continues to grow, technology will continue to play a significant role in shaping it.
Here are some ways technology has changed tourism:
1. The way we book travel
Gone are the days of calling a travel agent to book your trip. These days, you can research and book your entire vacation with just a few clicks. Sites like Expedia and Travelocity make booking airfare, hotels, and rental cars a breeze, and you can often find great deals by booking your trip online. Technology makes booking travel easier and more affordable than ever before.
2. The way we experience new places
Remember those paper maps you used to use to navigate your way around a new city? Yeah, those are pretty much obsolete now. Thanks to GPS apps like Google Maps and Waze, getting around a new place is easier than ever before.
And if you need help finding things to do in your destination city, there are plenty of apps for that too. TripAdvisor, for example, is an excellent resource for finding restaurants, attractions, and hotels in any destination. Yelp is another great option for finding local businesses when you’re traveling.
3. The way transportation evolved
Airlines and ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft have changed the way we get around when we travel. Before, renting a car was often the best option for getting around a new city. But these days, it’s often cheaper and easier to just take an Uber. They’ve become so popular that some cities are starting to ban them.
And if you’re flying somewhere, airlines have also become much more efficient thanks to technology. Planes now use aircraft hydraulic power units that are more fuel-efficient and have less impact on the environment. And airlines are now using apps to keep track of flight schedules and baggage claims, which has made flying a much smoother experience for everyone involved.
4. The way we share our experiences with others
Social media has changed how we share our experiences with others, both while traveling and after returning home. In the past, if you wanted to share photos from your vacation with your friends and family, you would have to wait until you got home and develop them (remember film?).
Thanks to smartphones and social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat, you can share your travel experiences with others in real-time. You can even live-stream videos on some platforms! This gives your friends and family a front-row seat to all the fun you’re having on vacation.
5. The way we stay connected while traveling
Speaking of social media, it’s also more accessible than ever to stay connected with your friends and family while you’re traveling, thanks to modern technology. With apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Skype, and Facetime, you can talk or video chat with anyone in the world for free as long as you have an internet connection (which is easier to come by than ever).
You can even call landlines and mobile phones in many countries at very reasonable rates using apps like Skype or Google Voice. So even if you’re halfway around the world on vacation, you can easily stay in touch with loved ones back home.
6. The way we pay for things while traveling
Gone are the days of carrying cash or traveler’s checks when you’re on vacation. With credit cards with chip technology and mobile payment options like Apple Pay and Google Pay, it’s easy (and secure) to pay for things while traveling without having to carry around a lot of cash. You can even use apps like Venmo or PayPal to send money back home (or split expenses with travel companions) without going through a bank or exchanging currency.
As you can see, modern technology has significantly impacted the tourism industry in recent years—and things continue to change at an increasingly rapid pace! Whether it’s the way we book our travel or the way we experience new places, technology has made exploring the world easier (and more fun) than ever before. So next time you’re planning a trip, be sure to take advantage of all the amazing technological resources available to make your journey more enjoyable!