Earlier, discussions took place regarding the popularity of digital nomad tourism and what it really meant. The central idea behind the concept revolved around the technology-driven ease of allowing people to work remotely. Therefore, when someone says “Technology Assisted Travel” there can be some confusion to mix the two.

However, this cannot be further from the truth. Tech-Empowered Travel is associated, as the name suggests, with technology. To put it simply, in our evolving digital world, smartphone apps have become so refined and robust in their functionality that some of these apps have ventured into brave territories such as real-time tracking of your courier package or the calculating the number of steps we are talking about. during the day.

Likewise, technology has integrated into the travel and tourism industry with innovative products that allow its users to easily book tourist hotels or other accommodation with just the push of a button. Not to mention that people can now book hotels, obtain airline tickets and plan an entire vacation itinerary through their smartphones using sophisticated and intelligent software.

Meanwhile, the Covid-19 pandemic has forced tech companies and the like to put “all hands on deck” to get around the situation and provide consumers with solutions that would help them at a time when several aspects of our livelihoods were limited. This resulted in the birth of a smarter smartphone as well as desktop apps for various needs – one of those areas of interest was travel and tourism. As such, a few areas that have seen improvement in the midst of the pandemic and beyond 2020 include mobile apps providing travel notifications and alerts, the popularity of which is expected to increase by 44% by 2022.

Other major areas include self-service check-in options at hotels, eliminating physical interactions with hotel staff, whose popularity is expected to increase by 41%. Contactless payment options are another area that has grown in popularity, as restrictions linked to the pandemic have forced people to limit their cash withdrawals at ATMs.

This means that tourist resorts, hotels or other similar hotel properties that offer transparent and contactless payment options will be the go-to places for travelers who always keep a foot behind when it comes to using money. cash or ATMs for payments and transactions. .

Contactless payment involves digital transactions or online payment methods, and if the “currency” used is initially virtual, this can lead to a further increase in the consumer base among travelers. This means that integrating cryptocurrencies as payment methods is another technology-based travel movement that would appeal to young travelers, especially those in the fields of commerce and finance related to these online virtual currencies. .

Meanwhile, two leading Maldivian tourist properties had announced earlier in 2021 their decision to integrate cryptocurrency as eligible payment methods, namely the Hard Rock Hotel Maldives and the SAii Lagoon Maldives.

Automation is going to be the next phase of the travel industry, therefore, tourist resorts which, as a result, will have a better chance of attracting tech-savvy travelers who have long forgotten about conventional travel methods and approaches.

This could very well mean that the pantheon of Maldivian tourist properties could excel magnificently, if they invest in policies that promote technological advancements in their respective properties. Some potential areas that these properties could look into include direct and easy booking through personal websites and direct airline affiliation to facilitate the overall hotel booking experience.

Many local properties could also explore the possibility of incorporating smart check-in devices that will provide faster access and information on hotels where guests check-in, reducing welcome visit time. What’s more, technological alternatives will also improve customer safety when checking in, as they don’t have to go directly to the reception counter – and in the midst of the still prevailing pandemic, that could be handy.

Ultimately, technology-driven travel will shape or even entirely transform the travel and tourism industry in a more holistic way. Thus, the actors of the tourism industry; in particular, hotel groups and hoteliers should consider seizing this opportunity to stay ahead.

The Maldives’ tourism industry has always welcomed the positive changes that have prevailed elsewhere in the world, and keeping up with technological developments in society as a whole means enhanced sustainability for the country’s strongest economic sector.