Nothing in the history of the world has fast-tracked the adoption of digital solutions like the COVID-19 crisis has. It changed human movement patterns, forced industries to re-evaluate their efficacy, challenged traditional ways of life and created an opportunity for previously reluctant sectors to embrace change and evolve.
For years travel technology has been evolving to make travel more seamless and efficient. In fact, many technologies have been around for years and only proved their value during COVID-19. For example, online booking tools and self-bag-drops at the airports.
In the travel sector, the pandemic fast-tracked new technology innovations to help people get back to travel safely, be more connected, and informed while on the road.
Here are a few technology trends that help reduce the risks associated with the spread of the virus but also decrease human errors – innovations that we believe will be the norm for future travel:
Self service technology
With more people working from home and practising social-distancing, our reliance on technology has increased exponentially, as has our need for a contactless service. As a result, consumers and organisations want a simple, seamless and contactless consumer experience – one place that provides access to the travel arsenal to book, approve, pay, and access all information and documentation from anywhere at any time.
Our digital services provide multiple ways for clients to interact with us, giving them greater flexibility before, during and after their trip. In practical terms, booking platforms can introduce messaging to highlight approved hotels that comply with COVID cleaning protocols. In addition, our SolutionSource marketplace gives clients access to the latest innovation with more speed and less risk for more immediate results.
Digital Health technology
While Duty of Care tools have been around for years, the pandemic has highlighted the importance of traveller safety. It has resulted in a range of new digital tools like COVID tracker apps and interactive web maps.
Like immunity and vaccine passports, some of them are necessary to make international travel possible for people and controllable for governments. One of these innovations is set to stay – the Digital Health Passport. Accessed through a mobile application (APP), it is essentially a digital platform that stores your Covid test results, vaccination records and other health requirements that pertain to a country’s entry requirements.
Communicating with travellers in real-time has never been more important, and the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that mobile is one of the most effective channels to do so. The TripSource mobile app is a single source of shared information to provide instant support and duty of care. It puts users in control with instant access to trip details, booking options, check-in reminders, real-time flight notifications, risk alerts, itinerary sharing, and more. We have also added a Document Vault, where users can upload all the travel documents they need – including vaccine cards, test results, travel insurance details and more – in one secure place.
If 2020 taught the business travel industry anything, getting back to travel will require flexibility, ingenuity, and plenty of technology. The current pause in travel has enabled us to adapt, evolve and get back on the road better equipped than before.