Augmented reality and VR will transform travel, according to Expedia study

The holiday booking process of the future will be “completely transformed” through the use virtual and augmented reality technologies.

These will allow travellers to have a deeper understanding of what a destination ‘feels like’ before making a booking, Expedia predicts.

Social media will also be an integral part of the entire travel journey, from the consideration phase, all the way to returning and sharing the entire experience.

Travel companies are increasingly experimenting with 360-degree tours, VR technology and even Facebook Booking Bots to interact with customers, as millennials rely more and more on technology, according to a study by the OTA.

The ‘holidays of the future’ report projects a future where content shared on social media will evolve from the standard photo into rich-media experiences.

Virtual reality and 360° film technology will begin to reach critical mass once brands invest in content for this medium.

Tourism Australia recently partnered with Expedia to launch an innovative brand campaign using 360° video called ‘How Far’. The series of films was created using the latest technology and highlights how travel can transform you and shape your view of the world,

In addition to VR, the report also looks at developments in transportation, airport security and hospitality, all designed to deliver more personalised and seamless travelling experiences.

This will happen sooner than expected, as self-driving transportation and smartphone-based airport and hotel check-in technologies are already being tested.

Manned hotel check-in front desks are expected to disappear with the emergence of holographic concierge features, digitised butlers or ‘smart mirrors’ designed to provide bespoke services according to each guest’s unique needs and wants.

Expedia northern Europe commercial director, Alex Platts, said: “Through social media, the generations of today feel much deeper connections with the wider world.

“Regardless of age, they have a strong desire to enrich their lives through travel and a genuine need of sharing every experience online in new ways.”

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