While journeying into space with companies such as Virgin Galactic (above) gets ever closer, a holiday company has revealed what it thinks is the future of travel. And it’s a vision that includes holidaymakers being able to try virtual reality experiences, such as diving the Great Barrier Reef before taking the plunge and buying.
Travel search site Skyscanner teamed up with The Future Laboratory and 56 trend experts to compile the report, which claims that planning and booking a holiday will be as easy and speedy as buying a book from Amazon within the next ten years.
The first chapter of the future-gazing report, which is being released in three instalments focusses on planning on booking. Predictions include:
Digital Travel Buddies & Wearable Artificial Intelligence
The report claims that holidaymakers will be equipped with a Digital Travel Buddy – a virtual companion which uses artificial intelligence to accurately suggest and book suitable trips. The future, according to the report, will see wearable technology evolve from the recently launched Google Glass to a mobile device so small that it will fit onto a contact lens and can provide immediate translations, breaking down language barriers.
Virtual Becomes a Reality
Rather than replacing holidays, the report forecasts that virtual reality will offer holidaymakers the opportunity to ‘try-before-they-buy’ by test-driving trips such as a dive on the Great Barrier Reef through technologies such as the Oculus Rift. Haptic technology, which takes advantage of a user’s touch to provide tactile feedback, will enable consumers to actually feel what they could experience during their holiday, such as the texture of the bed at a hotel or the plushness of an airplane seat.
In 2024, voice and gesture controlled online tools will help travellers book a bespoke trip based on their responses or even through facial coding algorithms that will enable search engines to read and react to human expressions and adjust results based on the user’s response.
Commenting on the report, Skyscanner’s Head of B2B, Filip Filipov said: “The travel industry has evolved a great deal over the past ten years so trying to predict what the next ten years has in store has been fascinating. With so many emerging technologies it is mind-boggling to imagine just what their impact on travel could be. This report is a sneak peek into the future and it’s only the start of the journey. We’re looking forward to revealing parts two and three later this year which will demonstrate how and where we holiday in 2024!”
The Skyscanner report can be found at www.skyscanner2024.com