Along with practically every aspect of our lives, the course of travel has been redefined repeatedly over the past year and a half, with seismic shifts propelling us towards a continuously evolving version of the `new normal.` And while Covid is not yet in the rearview mirror, an indefatigable sense of hope is beginning to take its place. To explore this hope for travel, Booking.com recently released its `Travel Predictions 2022 Research`, to predict how travel will continue to be redefined in 2022 and how the dependency on technology will increase as travelers plan their future travels.
Technology easing travel decisions: Uncertainty will continue to be a constant in travel in 2022, and while we cannot change or predict every new surprise and challenge that fate has in store for us, we will embrace it. The latest travel predictions reveals that technology will play a key role in supporting spontaneity with increased optionality to book on the go and the flexibility to adapt plans and follow where the adventure leads. Having leaned on technology in a variety of ways to stay connected and inspired over the past year and a half, our favourite apps will continue to help us navigate the unknown on our trips, with 76 per cent of Indian travellers agreeing that technology helps alleviate the anxiety around travelling.
Tech innovations for new and safe travel experiences: As per the report, 72 per cent of Indian travellers are looking to the latest travel technology innovations to offer a `wildcard` or surprise option of a completely new travel experience that`s suggested based on their past preferences or budget to help them seize every new potential opportunity. From AI-powered instant translation services that make it easier for travellers to negotiate last-minute changes of the plan directly with accommodation hosts and rental car providers who don`t speak the same language to machine learning models that automatically inform our host about a late arrival to their beach cottage due to a delayed flight, technology will continue to smooth out the unforeseen bumps in the road with increasing finesse and proactivity. Because of this, we expect to see even wider adoption of predictive technologies which can help travellers make more informed decisions, especially considering that 79 percent of Indian travellers would be interested in an innovative service that could predict which countries will be safe to travel to, even months in advance, or automatically suggest destinations which are easy to travel to now based on their country`s and the destination`s current Covid requirements (77 per cent).
Ritu Mehrotra, Regional Manager, South Asia at Booking.com said, “Travel has been in a state of flux in the past year and the Covid-19 pandemic has led to a significant shift in traveller attitude and behaviour. Entering into the new year, we are observing that technology continues to play an important role in bringing the travel community closer together, as people rely on first-hand experiences from other travellers to make informed decisions and gauge where and when it`s right for them to travel again. As we emerge from the pandemic and the world settles into a new reality, no matter how accurate any machine learning predictions might be, in order for everyone to truly embrace our new unpredictable normal, the broader travel industry will continue to prioritize flexibility. And as always, we will be there for travellers – offering the widest choice, great value and the easiest experience from anywhere and on any device – for travellers ease as and when it`s safe to do so again.”