Are the days gone when you could see the vast traveling majority wondering aimlessly with their tourist guidebook under their arm? Are digital products and services revolutionising the travel experience?
In this digital age, the way we experience travel is changing. According to research by TripAdvisor, more than four in five (87%) global travellers use their smartphone while on holiday. This is probably a reason for the plethora of travel applications that we can now get our hands on within seconds, whether its to manage our itinerary, find new hotspots or immerse ourselves into the local culture.
From personal experience, I believe the latter is what is pushing the travel industry and in turn our digital experience of travelling. Having the ability to be immersed in the local culture at the touch of our fingertips is truly extraordinary. This seems to be a running trend in the current industry, with Tom Marchant of Black Tomato stating, “Travellers want to immerse themselves into a culture… And if you want to see the soul of a place, or get a sense of what makes a city tick, then it’s about finding local experiences – where to hang out and what time to be there.”
(Image credit: Designstudio)
Obviously, the latest Airbnb rebrand brought digital travel services to the forefront of consumers, focusing their story on “Belong Anywhere.” This message brings us back to experiencing the culture of where you are at that moment in time, and having the feeling that you belong to a community. Airbnb benefit from their local hosts sharing their knowledge to create this experience, and yet there are plenty of services that benefit from crowdsourcing and social media from like minded travellers.
Over the next year, one digital app that I feel is worth keeping an eye out on is Adventurely. Currently launched in beta in New York and Brooklyn, it allows travellers to select activities on their trip and gives the ability to meet up with fellow members to attend at the same time. The app arrives at an apt time, as according to a Visa Global Travel Intentions Study 24 percent of people travelled alone last year, and this is where the app could use the market to its advantage filling in travel companionship when needed.
(Image credit: Visa)
Everyone is looking for an experience on their travels, whether it is cultural immersion or simply relaxation on a sun-lounger, and the digital products at our fingertips can help everyone personalise their trips and tailor the experiences for what they enjoy.