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Travel Tech Trends 2016



Download to read offline | The year 2016 will see further technological developments that enhance the travel experience. These various high-tech innovations include further upgrades in “virtual travel” technology, drone photography, Wi-Fi, and more.

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Travel Tech Trends 2016

  1. 1. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could tour foreign cities and landmarks without leaving your home? Believe it or not, “virtual travel” is already here, and it’s likely to become more refined in the coming years. Marriott, one of the world’s largest hotel chains, has been experimenting with “VRoom Service,” where lodgers can use virtual reality technology to explore Chile, Beijing, or another select locale.1
  2. 2. Increasingly, getting from Point A to Point B can be managed without having to interface with human beings. For example, many hotels allow lodgers to carry out various tasks and requests (e.g., room service requests) with smartphone apps. Airports are also getting in on the act, enabling travelers to bypass human agents with the use of these kinds of apps.
  3. 3. We’ll probably see notable improvements in Wi-Fi technology in planes over the next year, particularly faster speeds. Wi-Fi has been a fantastic resource for travelers who need to connect their electronic devices to the Internet while on the road. To meet this demand, many hotels and airports offer Wi-Fi.
  4. 4. Search engine giant Google has already substantially remodeled the travel experience with tools such as Google Maps. The company is developing another innovation for today’s busy traveler: Project Fi. Currently invite-only, Google’s Project Fi is a mobile virtual network that provides various data and voice services. It is expected to be available to consumers at a basic rate of $20/month.2
  5. 5. There was a time when most travelers had to make do with cheap cameras if they wanted to take pictures of the sights they encountered on their trips. The advent of drone photography is changing that tradition, however. Drones allow users to take photos from hundreds of feet in the air, giving them access to angles that are otherwise impossible. Drone photography is projected to increase in popularity over the next few years.
  6. 6. While we’re on the subject of drones, this technology is rapidly evolving to the point where it will soon be possible to transport people in the air. In January 2016, the Chinese company Ehang debuted a human-carrying drone at the Consumers Electronics Show (CES). This drone can travel more than 10,000 feet into the air, and can be folded up into a five-foot area.3
  7. 7. The days of having to lug a beat-up passport everywhere may soon be over. U.S. Customs and Border Protection is currently experimenting with its Mobile Passport Control (MPC) app, which will streamline the entry process into America. The app was launched on a trial run at Hartsfield- Jackson Atlanta International Airport in August 2014.4
  8. 8. Founded in 1967, Scenic Airlines is renowned across the globe for its aerial sightseeing tours of the Grand Canyon. The company escorts around 300,000 passengers each year around this famous site. Please visit for more information.
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