We already know, entering this new travel landscape, that technology will play a larger role in travel than it ever has before. For example, with people using less physical cash and businesses transitioning fully to contactless forms of payment, electronic payments are looking more and more appealing to travellers rather than exchanging money for local currency. Digital tools such as the Known Traveller Digital Identity are also supporting the initiative to shift to touchless travel and improved health and safety measures.
However, the wave of digital innovations and the continued push for social distancing measures doesn’t mean that travelling isn’t on the forefront of everyone’s minds. The rising popularity of remote working is also enticing a variety of workers to consider embracing the digital nomad lifestyle. According to a survey by Forbes magazine, 77% of employees said they’d prefer to continue working from home. This opportunity would allow remote workers to travel without necessarily needing to go on “vacation”, integrating travel more fluidly into their lives, as part-and-parcel of work rather than distinct from it.
What does this mean for travel agents though? In a technology-driven world where new, emerging tools may be a distinguishing feature for today’s travel leaders, there’s no better time to get ahead of the curve. Investing the time now into properly researching and testing all viable technology to better address your clients’ needs will bolster traveller confidence and set you apart. While researching and reading about these tools does not imply committing to them, it does have the added benefit of putting you in the headspace of your travellers, particularly those looking to feel safe and confident that their health is protected.
Here’s a look at some of the emerging brands that have been making waves in the industry:
This mobile-based platform, characterized as a disruption management tool, provides travellers with pre-trip health and safety advice, and real-time monitoring of travel disruptions. To find out more about Sitata, click here.
This startup has created a plug and play mobility platform for rail, cities and their transit agencies, enabling transport providers to offer citizens world-class connected mobility service. To find out more about IoMob click here.
Koala is a French insurance tech startup aiming to reinvent travel insurance. Its data-driven products proactively alert travellers of any disruptions and pays out instantly. To find out more about Koala, click here.
The New York-based startup Pilota leverages machine learning to predict flight disruptions and automatically rebook travellers’ flights ahead of time. To find out more about Pilota, click here.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of all of the emerging startups and tools centered around providing new travel safety features and regimes, but this is a good place to start. Now it’s up to travel leaders to choose to implement these tools and reap the benefits. Umapped’s Trip Publisher also allows travellers to safely access their itineraries without having to resort to paper; send your travellers all of their documents and bookings virtually via the Web View and the Mobile App!