A recent report from Adobe Digital Insights claims that augmented and virtual reality, along with wearable technology, will be the newest travel industry disruptors.
Mentions of wearable gadgets for traveling went up by 44% after the Ocean Medallion was introduced by Princess Cruises back in January. The Ocean Medallion is a small device that can be worn in various ways to serve as a passenger’s digital identity. It appears that consumers are eager to embrace the new wearable tech trend.
Sales of VR devices were up big time during the 2016 holiday season, capturing consumers’ imaginations and driving new ideas for how VR can be used for businesses too. For example, the hotel industry has also begun taking an interest in this new trend: Eight major chains have been experimenting with offering virtual reality experiences to guests during the past six months.
Car rental industry sees the downside
However, technology presents a downside for some parts of the industry. Car rentals made online have decreased by 14% during the first quarter, partly due to the success of Uber. Online reservations have decreased by 2% with each 10% increase in social media mentions. Last year, between March and December, Uber comments grew to 6 million, while car rental reservations were reduced by 28%.
Other traveling trends have affected the car rental industry too. International travel to the US was reduced by 6% during the first quarter, diminishing the need for automobiles. And as airfare increases, many families may decide it is more economical to drive their own cars, rather than fly. One-stop destinations, such as cruises and inclusive resorts, have also have lessened the need for rental cars.
Travel is a prevalent topic on social media, receiving about 14 million mentions every month, on average.