In the travel industry, one of the sectors most heavily influenced by pandemic challenges, XR could be crucial in reviving the landscape.
Over the past few years, the travel industry has suffered greatly due to closed borders and restrictions. Now that the pandemic is starting to subside, travel companies need to work more than ever to convince their customers to be adventurous.
XR provides a unique opportunity for businesses to help their consumers make more educated decisions about where to visit. It can also be an important tool for improving the overall travel experience. Let’s take a look at some of the key use cases for XR travel.
1. Better Booking Experiences
First and foremost, the XR has the amazing ability to enhance the buying experience for consumers in the travel landscape. With low budgets and limited confidence in travel brands, customers are becoming smarter about where they are traveling and who they choose to travel with.
Fortunately, XR can help travel companies guide their customers through more engaging buying experiences. Before committing to a trip, a travel company can give their customers a taste of what a location looks like, by providing them with a VR headset. They can use these headsets to give users insight into what they can see and hear in different locations around the world. About 50% of customers today said they would enjoy using VR when choosing a destination.
The same technology can be used to offer tours to hotels, and must-see attractions in different destinations. Customers are up to 130% more likely to book a hotel room after they are given a virtual tour of the space. With the right XR tools and content, businesses can give users the confidence they need to make informed purchasing choices.
2. More Convenient Excursion
XR solutions can also make a huge difference to users ’experience when they actually visit a destination. AR applications can be an important way to help users get a more engaging self-guided tour of a destination, complete with guidance on how to search for certain locations, and text translations delivered straight away. on a smartphone or headset.
Mobile apps like City Guide Tour use object recognition to provide instant on-screen entertainment about places of interest, landmarks, and locations a person might want to see. While Street Life gives users access to guided tours, they can use it to navigate their real life adventures. With 5G connected apps, users can navigate environments more conveniently, with directions sent to their phone and content infused from their camera.
Beacon technology located at a tourist destination can also provide instant access to useful information about a location, such as what it does, or what it offers, in the customer’s native language. . In the future, when AR mirrors become more common, these experiences will be particularly compelling.
3. Improved Customer Experiences
In almost every industry, many companies are experimenting with new technologies like XR to unlock better experiences for their audience. Travel companies are now under tremendous pressure to take their customers ’trust back after a troubled few years. XR solutions can be a great way to do this, by simplifying the travel experience.
Companies are already engaging with simple but effective apps to enhance the travel experience. For example, KLM has an AR app that can allow customers to check their luggage will fit the dimensions of hand baggage on an airplane before they visit the airport.
The XR also provides the opportunity to bring new levels of entertainment to the travel environment. Instead of just asking people to watch a movie on a long-haul flight, you can allow them access to a VR or AR adventure. Eurostar has created an underwater adventure for travelers, to keep them submerged and entertained in their seats.
Beacon and QR code technology can allow users to scan an object on their smartphone, and gain instant access to a virtual assistant they see standing in front of them, to help them make changes. in their room in a hotel, or finding something to do.
4. Virtual Travel Experiences
Virtual travel experiences saw a huge amount of attention during the pandemic. Google searches for this phrase increased by approximately 286% in 2020 alone. When travel was not an option due to restrictions and lockouts, virtual travel gave people the opportunity to leave their homes without actually getting away from the sofa.
In the future, these virtual travel experiences may continue to offer a new way for travel companies, especially as concerns about “overtourism” continue to grow. Environmentally conscious people may choose to do more of their travel from home, so that they can reduce their carbon footprint. While people with ailments and issues that prevent them from traveling can access XR to cross locations on their bucket list.
Although visiting a must-see destination on the XR may not replace the actual trip there in person, it can offer a great option for people who just want a quick and simple experience. This could open new doors for travel companies that need to find ways of serving a wider audience.
5. Creating Hybrid Experiences
XR will also be able to make traditional travel experiences more engaging and memorable, by giving people the opportunity to do unique things, without breaking their budget. For example, you can allow people to taste an excursion before they book, so they know if there’s something worth adding to their itinerary. This approach increased Thomas Cook’s helicopter tour bookings by 190%.
Hotels can add unique experiences to rooms to make the stay more pleasant. For example, they can allow people to explore new destinations when sitting in their hotel room using a VR headset. Tourist attractions and tour operators can also use QR codes and beacons to create gamified hybrid experiences for users.
For example, the Cedar Point division created the AR experience within its app in 2016, allowing people to scan ride signs and game symbols, to unlock new entertainment options within the park. This way, fewer people get bored when waiting in line for a ride.
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