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The 3 most important technology trends that will conquer the travel industry in 2023

The year 2022 has been full of ups and downs for the global tourism industry. At the start of the year, the challenge was to lure tourists back by providing social distancing friendly facilities and processes. Then, as regulations were relaxed, “revenge trips” began, bringing with them a sudden flood of tourists. However, many companies have struggled to meet this spike in demand with fewer resources.

Technology emerged as an answer that helped us overcome these various challenges, from solutions that supported social distancing regulations to tools that helped increase capacity with fewer staff.

As we head into 2023, it’s time to take stock of changing trends across the sector and emerging technologies that could offer both new solutions and opportunities for Singapore’s tourism businesses.

Here are four travel tech trends we think will make a big splash in 2023:

Augmented reality meets corporate retreats

Business travel will resume in full force in 2023.’s Seven Predictions for the Reimagination of Travel in 2023 survey predicts that survivor-themed corporate retreats will help rebuild team spirit and camaraderie after years of separation. In fact, according to their survey:

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  • 44% of the global workforce looks forward to “real life” team building work trips.
  • 51% want savings on remote/hybrid working models they spend on business trips or retreats

American Express Global Business Travel published a white paper earlier this year entitled Why travel is the center of the new company culture. In it, they explain how the shift to hybrid and remote work, the growing need to address burnout and employee well-being, and the never-ending challenge of attracting and retaining key talent are making business travel a pivotal moment in building corporate culture will do.

According to the group, a successful corporate retreat will: focus on employee well-being, include personal development, emphasize company values, and most importantly, foster a strong sense of company culture.

So what kind of technologies can support culture-driven retreats?

Extended reality is a growing tech trend that we reported on last year. From augmented reality (AR) treasure hunts that require teams to race through the city to uncover clues to company value, to immersive virtual reality (VR) experiences that help build teamwork and leadership skills, this technology delivers new ways to create unique activities focused on corporate culture.

Although this technology has been around for a while, the market has evolved and more and more companies are offering solutions that are both customizable and accessible to businesses of all sizes. Xctuality, CityGuyd and SmartGuide are three cohorts of the Singapore Tourism Board’s Accelerator program that have been piloting STB partners this year to enable them to create virtual experiences for guests and customers.

Read more about how to create more immersive visitor experiences here.

Generative AI is making its way into the tourism sector

Artificial intelligence is a technology that is already widely used by tourism companies. AI-based customer service robots, online chatbots and customer data analysis tools help reduce response times, relieve overburdened employees of certain tasks and gain deeper insights into customer satisfaction in seconds.

Generative AI, also known as Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs), is now taking the potential of the technology to the next level, allowing AI not only to copy and replicate, but also to create original text, images and more. Some of the most popular early examples are GPT-3, a language model that can produce fake stories in the style of famous writers, and DALL-E, an AI model that can create original images based on prompts.

While this technology is still in its infancy, there are a number of exciting new opportunities that generative AI could offer travel companies.

For example, the hospitality industry could use Generative AI to design new hotel concepts and layouts, or develop virtual tours of their facilities for potential customers. MICE planners could use this technology to generate a range of personalized itinerary options for customers with just a few clicks.

For both conference planners and attractions, easily generating different layouts could help them find the best options to minimize event congestion, identify potential safety concerns, and encourage foot traffic to specific locations.

Seamless payments with biometric technology

The adoption of biometric identification and payment systems is a growing trend identified by Amadeus in its 2023 Travel Trends Report. With these intelligent systems, guests can check in, upgrade their seats and even make purchases with a simple fingerprint or retina scan.

For example, food and beverage retailer Hudson has opened a number of “non-stop shops” at US airports using Amazon One’s biometric technology. With these systems, customers can pay by simply holding their hand over the kiosk sensor.

It doesn’t get more personal than that.

Not ready for biometrics yet? Digital payment solutions such as payment apps, digital wallets, buy now pay later and account-to-account (A2A) payments make it even easier for customers to spend money on vacation. And that’s exactly what they want: hassle-free transactions.

If you’re looking to adopt new technology this year but don’t know where to start, Tcube can help you identify the right partners, develop a technology roadmap, and launch a successful pilot program. Learn more here.

This article was originally published on the Singapore Tourism Board’s Tcube website.

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