In a world of online bookings and endless search-focused resources at our fingertips; it’s easy to jump to the conclusion that technology has rendered the human aspect of travel planning obsolete. Technology — when well built and used appropriately — has the power to render travel more human than ever. Tools like the ones we develop empower travel agents and travel activity providers with the information and visibility they need to provide a truly personalized and genuine travel experience. Trends seem to indicate that we’re less and less interested in owning actual things and increasingly interested in collecting unique experiences. All the more reason to believe that modern traveling requires a human touch — if only to help us find and book the experiences of our own lifetime.
Visibility, Inventory and Accessibility
There are many ways in which technology can help us connect with one another. Take, for example, a small activity provider and organizer who offers unique, eco-friendly desert treks across Australia’s endless stretches of unspoiled land. With such a niche offering and limited time to manage online marketing and branding, it can be difficult for the provider to attract new visitors and potential clients. It is a hassle to advertise tours on multiple platforms, keep up with new technology and manage countless booking platforms.
By having access to things like real-time inventory management information, advertisement and visibility dashboards and international networks of potential partnerships, that tour provider can attract new customers without ever taking any time away from what he does best: guide people through what will likely be one of the most incredible experiences of their lives.
Travel Agents and Exclusivity
Technology also gives travel agents access to helpful and exclusive information that isn’t necessarily available to the common traveler. This once again makes it worthwhile to step out of the comfort of your home in order to go visit your local agent. Because let’s face it – not everyone wants to spend hours independently scouring the internet to unearth the most exclusive and obscure of travel activities and experiences. The fact is, our time is worth money, and recent stats by the Cornell School of Hotel Administration show that most of us visit a minimum of 15 travel sites before booking a room, while 5% visit over 150. And that’s only for a roof over your head — you haven’t even started scoping out experiences yet! With tools that help travel agents access and navigate a massive catalogue of unique, easy and exciting travel options and experiences, the painstaking research is mercifully taken out of the equation; leaving you to focus on what matters the most – your exciting adventures ahead. With tools like our new concierge service, you can send a text message to a real, live agent who will peruse, suggest and book activities near you; all while on-the-go and on your phone!
In this regard, you’ve not only re-established a relationship with a fellow adventure lover, but you get to look forward to those little human touches travel agents provide; an email upon your return to see how your trip went, a person to turn to with questions and scheduling conflicts, and someone to get excited with you as you build and plan out your very own escapades.
The Power of Personalization
Another powerful change brought on my technology is the ability to truly personalize your travel experience and preparations. Industry experts agree, personalization and smart data use is no longer a luxury – it’s expected. Up to 40% of travelers studied by Amadeus in their quest to track travel trends told researchers they were willing to share information about their hobbies, interests and preferences if it could lead to better activity suggestions and a more tailored overall travel experience.
Modern technology and algorithms lead to better recommendations and a wider range of potential travel experiences, which then ensures that you’re booking activities that truly suit and excite you — even if you’d never considered them before. That, in turn, almost inevitably leads you to interacting with people with whom you’re already likelier to share interests and curiosities. Though a generic tour of Egypt’s pyramids booked through a traditional brochure could find you bundled in with a wide-ranging and perhaps ill-fitted group of travelers, a night-time archaeology trek is almost sure to attract the like-minded and adventurous.
Traveling is really all about connecting. Connecting with people, connecting with places, connecting with memories and connecting with experiences. And if there’s one thing technology does well, it’s connect the dots. So why not embrace the role devices and innovation play in our modern travel experience? Why not skip the hours spent on research and digging by allowing a knowledgeable travel agent with access to precise algorithms and technology do a part of the legwork for us? Why not harness technology and see how it can help all of us focus less on semantics, and more on each other? That’s what we’re trying to do, and we’d love it if you came along for the ride.
Sara Ahmadian is the co-founder and CEO of Seamless Planet. She’s passionate about entrepreneurship, engineering and globetrotting.
This post was written with collaboration of Sarah McMahon-Sperber
See original article at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sara-ahmadian/technology-people-and-tra_b_8931784.html