The Internet of Things (IoT) is disrupting the travel industry. In this era of personalization, IoT is paving the way for brands to effectively connect with customers.

Hospitality and travel realize this more than other industries, and they are using big data analysis to achieve this goal.

The 2018 Deloitte Travel and Hospitality Industry Outlook stressed the increased use of emerging technologies to offer personalized service. The use of new technologies such as AI, machine learning, and IoT is imperative to create these memorable moments and rich experiences.

IoT solutions autonomously reduce time lags and streamline resources. They take care of trivial tasks and help automate amenities that can be handled without human intervention. These leave staffs with more time to serve customers.

Gartner forecasts that there will be 20.8 billion connected things by 2020. This will lead to dramatic changes in how we do business. The sheer volume of adoption of digital devices necessitates advanced interconnection and communication.

Mobile technology will play a prominent role in connecting travelers and guests. They can receive seamless information about their luggage, itinerary and the experiences they want. This will lead to customization and a tailored experience which will create a strong emotional bond between brands and consumers.

IoT trends that are dominating the industry include:

Instant Help

Anything can go wrong during a trip, and help is not always at hand. Chatbots will now come to our rescue. From lost bags to last-minute ticket changes, they will handle the customer service requests right away.

Airlines and other travel outlets are adopting this technology to prevent any added stress for travelers. Air New Zealand’s Oscar chatbot is an excellent example in this regard. It can handle up to 75 percent of customer queries, solving issues faster and making both sides happy.

Also in air travel, IoT applications will offer real-time information via connected devices so that customers have instant information on flight changes, airport navigation, security checks, boarding information, etc.

Seamless Experiences

Lufthansa made news for being one of the forerunners in IoT usage. The German carrier is using these emerging technologies to enable a seamless exit from the plane straight to check-in at the hotel.

Passengers can use the Lufthansa app to track their baggage via a link found on their mobile boarding pass. They will know the status of their luggage right as they are deplaning instead of waiting at the carousel.

Electronic key cards on guests’ smartphones will help them check-in right as they deplane. This level of personalization will be a necessity and not a luxury in the near future.

Voice Search

An increasing number of travel and hospitality brands are looking to invest in voice technology going forward. Voice will be the predominant search tool of the future and businesses should plan their campaigns around it.

For large-scale hubs like theme parks and airports, IoT will help streamline operations for guests to a large extent. Travelers will find information on everything they need from their smartphones.

IoT will also help improve the maintenance process, which will lower operational costs and increase traveler safety.