Gadgetry set for world domination
It is no surprise that tablets, smart phones, e-readers and the like are now the mainstream. How the travel industry will embrace these technologies in 2012 will be interesting to witness.
Trendwatching.com refers to it as “screen culture” in its latest report. Giving an example of the European Parliament’s “Parlamentarium” which is the largest visitors’ centre in Europe. One of its unique features is that it caters for all 23 EU official languages using iPod Touch devices, configurable in any language.
In South Africa telecommunications brand 8ta installed touch-activated windows to enable consumers to browse the companies catalogue of product offerings day or night. Could this be utilised by Travel Agencies or Tour Operators?
“44 percent of U.S. travelers plan on using their mobile phone or smartphone more as a travel resource during trips in 2012”- Tripadvisor
The death of the guidebook?
Travel related content needs to be tailored to the small screens. Travel guidebook publishers listen up as if you are not in the running you will be out of the game. Travel Fish a well respected travel content provider for Asia have created Iphone apps with interactive maps.
“Anyone who can combine the latest technology with quality original content is going to kill it.” Christine Gilbert on Travelllll.com
The Big Deal
Bargain hunters, savy shoppers and wheeler dealers are the aim of the game. Discount online stores such as Groupon with deal of the day type offerings will set to dominate. The travel company with the best deal will win. This is also a social affair with people bragging about deals via social networks.
Lonely Planet asked its readers what their predictions are for 2012 and this was one of them. People are getting creative about the way in which they travel. It is about the idea of collaborating with others to travel together, for eg. through couchsurfing, crashpadder or airbnb. Others mentioned skill swapping via woofing or helpx.net. Using forums to arrange to go for a hike or share a journey with strangers. The economic downturn has not stopped people travelling; however, it will push people to explore new ways of travel.
According to a Tripadvisor survey carried out on US travellers 54% are planning to travel to Europe with the front running international destinations being Paris London & Rome.
According to Skyscanner’s travel trends report Estonia is the highest climbing destination with a search increase of 90% year on year. Likely due to it being the European Capital of Culture in 2011. There is also a 32% increase in interest for Russia with major sporting events such as winter olympics 2014 and the Football World Cup in 2018. Iraq & Cape Verde islands are also mentioned as upcoming tourist destinations.
While CNN states England, Mexico & Central America, Burma, Chicago, St Vincent & the Grenidines, The Netherlands, Canada, Uruguay, Orlando as the worlds top destinations for 2012.
Agree or disagree with the above? Do you have travel plans for 2012? I want to know where you’re heading… tell me! Make me jealous, I dare you.
Image courtesy of asmythie