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Internet Of Things - Reshaping The Future Of Travel Industry

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Madhusudhan K A, Co-Founder & COO, The TravelBook Online A travel lover himself, Madhusudhan has 7+ years of experience in the travel industry across functional areas like Airline Host Operations, GDS Basic & Advanced Level Support, Corporate Travel, and GDS Training.

Travel is an industry where one needs to always thrive to evolve in order to serve customers in a pioneering method and innovation is key. The Internet of Things has given wonderful platform to contest the surging demand for better customer services and ever mounting pressure from industry competitors. Travellers are not shying away from adopting IoT technologies and development of various kinds of travel apps is changing the landscape of the travel industry.

Let me start with giving an example of how IoT is changing the way we travel on flights. Some of the mobile applications are designed to monitor parameters of health during flights. The parameters include the level of hydration, heart rate, body temperature for example. A traveler can be aware of the level of hydration and can hydrate the body accordingly so as to maintain the optimum hydration level. In case a traveller falls sick on the flight then the cabin crew is also in a better position to cater to his needs if they are aware of some of the vital parameters of the
body at that given point,they can assess the gravity of the situation in a better manner. Travellers travelling for longer routes with a need to assess the situation of the connecting flights can get live updates and real time tracking of the same and can assess the situation while being on the move. Mobile applications adopting IoT can guide a traveller through stations where the announcement or signage could be in a language foreign to the traveller or through airports having multiple terminals or airports which are huge in terms of area.

"Mobile applications adopting IoT can guide a traveller through stations where the announcement or signage could be in a language foreign to the traveller or through airports having multiple terminals or airports which are huge in terms of area"

A classic example, which comes to my mind and relates to my initial days in the industry when I was in hotel industry. One thing which impresses the guest most is the personalization aspect. IoT is enabling mobile applications to control many aspects of a room including enabling the app to be used a remote control for television and sometimes guests are checking into hotel without queuing up at the reception since they are given access to rooms via mobile apps. This personalization made the guest feel special and gave a sense of being at home. App based locks which are difficult to tamper with gives the guest a sense of enhanced security.

In some cases, travelers are in a major destination and in a place of attraction and very close to another one which they had not planned for initially or may have been unknown to them. Once a guest went to Dubai and got to know about the Miracle Gardens which is seasonal and not open to public throughout the year. He was intimated by a location sensor enabled mobile app and since he was pretty close to the garden it was suggested to him for paying a visit.

IoT has already hinted at its usefulness and the way it can make the life of a traveller very easy. It is also going to be a game changer in terms of how customer acquisition is to happen as it can give a good idea of traveller’s likes and dislikes and help in profiling of customers too.