A glimpse at the future of travel
Wednesday 05 January 2011
Robot receptionists, smart hotel rooms that know guests' preferences and virtual postcards are all set to change the way we travel over the coming years, according to a new report.
A study commissioned by the organizers of ITB Berlin, one of the world's largest travel shows, suggests that technological advances are expected to produce some far-reaching changes in the way we plan, book and enjoy our vacations.
The ITB World Travel Trends report said that within ten years, "smart rooms" could be a reality, changing their lighting, air conditioning, colors and even minibar options depending on the preferences of guests.
Using a personal profile code entered using a smart phone or PIN keypad, the room would transform, and if travellers have any questions, they'll need to be directed at the robot receptionist, which Hong Kong University professor Haiyan Song believes will provide "high quality and consistent service" in the not-so-distant future.
Social networking is also expected to play an increasing role in travel, said the report, allowing consumers to plan and share trips in a different way.
Suggesting that Fairmont's attempt to set up a social network for its properties could be an innovation well ahead of its time, the ITB report suggested that in the future, guests will be able to create their own public profiles which will be shared in a travel community, in effect creating "hotel families".
People with the same interests will be able to share recommendations and get services specifically designed for them by hotels, as well as meeting up and undertaking joint activities while on vacation.
The report was compiled by some 50 travel trade professionals in 30 countries and will be presented in full at ITB Berlin 2011, which takes place March 9 - 13 in Berlin, Germany.
Changing the way we travel
Some of the key tech trends from the ITB World Travel Trends Report
Augmented reality - destinations and publishers will increasingly offer interactive guides
Mobile advertising and payment - rich advertising technology such as iAds will combine with ewallets to change the way we buy on the go
Hotel families - groups of travelers with similar preferences, connected and enabled by social media
Smart hotels - rooms that change their environment depending on their guest
Real-time travel - the explosion in apps will lead to new ways to get real-time data of importance to travelers
Social media - holiday tips from friends worldwide are set to become the norm
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Huawei Mate S and Huawei Watch: new products take on iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch
- 2 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
- 5 Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
Is Moscow really the world's unfriendliest city?
Moscow voted the world's unfriendliest city
Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
New Year’s Eve plans: the world’s best places to celebrate
Couple who left careers to travel the world reveal they fund it by scrubbing toilets
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
£25000 - £28000 per annum + 24 days holiday, bonus, etc.: Ashdown Group: Print...
£20000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With offices in London, Manches...
£30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer and Brand Manager required for ...
£25000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator A...