By Kanlaya Mathyakom, Founder at Pickaboo co., Ltd
With the rise of digitalization in travel industry, there are many benefits; mainly trips are easier to arrange and travellers become more independent. The process is shorten considerably as many unnecessary tasks are eliminated, thanks to the application of technology.
We book flight online, then check-in at the kiosk and drop our luggage to automated bag drop counter, albeit many struggle. It’s inevitable that in this short future there would hardly be any personal interaction at the airport. The whole process are cut much shorter than what it used to be a decade ago, that you had to queue for hours and as a results flights were often delayed.
Not long ago, communications back home during journey, costed us arms and legs, and difficult to access. Right now, with all sort of chat apps through free WiFi at the hotel or coffee shop, “everyone can chat”. Postcards are the things of the past being replaced by social media app such as Facebook.
Driving in a foreign country now is just the same as driving to the next town in your city with the assistance of Google Map, provided that the network is decent. In fact I have become so dependent that I panicked if my phone battery is running out, concern that I wouldn’t be able to reach my destination.
However, I realised that one thing has never changed. When I arrived at the destination, I decided that technology couldn’t replace everything, just as reading about attractions from your google search will be no match to hearing from the locals, the taste, the smell of the markets, the breeze and shades of skies and oceans and most importantly your own interaction in the experience which could not be predicted or scripted.
In my opinion, the essence of travel will always be personal and required human touch, this can never be replaced by computer generated experience, so-call virtual tourism? I strongly believe that travel technology will continue to evolve with main objective to enhance genuine travel experience e.g. automation of the mundane function, reduce human errors, so that precious vacation time is freed for the more enjoyable experience.