Yacin Zawam of Northwest Arkansas is a medical professional and avid traveler. In the following article, Yacin Zawam discusses what makes technology’s current advancements so innovative as well as challenging to keep up with in terms of communications between travelers, booking capabilities, and even navigational ability.
Travel may be more fun than ever when considering the advent of the internet and being able to see others’ adventures via social media—however, the travel experience is changing thanks to technology. Yacin Zawam of Northwest Arkansas looks at how this is manifesting in more detail below.
Technology is changing the landscape of travel when it comes to booking, navigating, and communications through chatbots that can book both hotel services and transportation, navigational apps, and social media.
How Travel Technology has Transformed
Yacin Zawam says that there are many challenges associated with innovation. After all, technology can add a lot to our lives just by making certain processes easier, not to mention faster to accomplish!
However, when something is made easier for the consumer or traveler to access, it usually means that someone in the industry is having to work harder to stay on top of the challenges innovation brings.
Zawam discusses three ways that travel technology has changed and created both innovations and the challenges that come with them, including:
- Chatbot Booking
- Navigational Apps
- Social Media Communication
First, Chatbot Booking
Yacin Zawam of Northwest Arkansas says that chatbot booking is one of the main ways that reservations have been revolutionized over recent years thanks to technology. Chatbots are none other than one of the most widely-used forms of artificial intelligence in the industry.
They present an easier way to book public transportation such as taxis, (such as Uber or Lift) or even order in for room service. Travelers are capable of searching for any flight they might need, popular tourism destinations, and even ask questions about the places they plan on staying in.
However, Yacin Zawam explains that all of this can transpire without speaking to an actual human travel industry employee such as a concierge or booking agent. The industry is overcoming this challenge by creating their own chatbots, usually used through Facebook Messenger. Some of these include Skyscanner, Kayak, and even Expedia.com.
A chatbot is also helpful to the booking agents in that they act as the first point of contact. They can narrow down what type of information a customer is searching for, then transfer the conversation over to a real, human expert. Basically, working as a screening tool to make the human connection process more streamlined.
Yacin Zawam of Northwest Arkansas explains that navigational apps are used by just about everyone, whether that person is going across the globe on vacation or simply making their way to a new restaurant in their hometown. No longer do we print out maps of our routes and attempt to follow them.
Instead, Yacin Zawam of Northwest Arkansas says that the use of navigational applications on our mobile devices have replaced the need for many different tourism tools. Not only do they utilize satellites to pinpoint our location, they do so in real time. Popular navigational apps replace the need for human recommendations by allowing for an “Explore Nearby” feature that recommends restaurants and travel attractions.
Even large indoor structures in the travel industry are adapting to this challenge by offering apps virtual maps of an area that navigational apps have access to.
Social Media Communication
Finally, according to research performed in 2019, more than 80 percent of travelers decide to travel to a destination purely based on posts made by users about that spot on social media.
Yacin Zawam of Northwest Arkansas reports that this level of communication is what leads to a lack of guidebooks and a more focused emphasis on companies sponsoring social media influencers to promote their services and locations.
In conclusion, technology has increased our ease of travel through innovations like the many different global positioning system apps that offer convenient ways to get where travelers are going and find new destinations simultaneously.
It has also done this through the use of chatbots, which, although helpful in creating a streamlined experience for booking transportation and services, has begun to negate the need for human interaction in the travel industry.
Lastly, the travel industry is left to rise or fall in terms of success based on social media coverage. The more tourists and travelers make their opinion on travel destinations and the best way to experience them public online, the more other travelers put this information to good use.
It is safe to say that travel has become easier for the traveler, but more fast-paced for those working in the travel industry if they want to remain successful.