Sasha Kamenetska | Contributor
January 09, 2014

Top 5 Tech-Driven Travel Trends in 2014


In our fast-paced, increasingly work hard, play hard culture, travelers are getting creative about how they fit new experiences and travel into the whirlwind of daily life. Developer technology and APIs are helping travel providers innovate to meet evolving traveler demands, including the demand for seamless travel planning on the go, from any and every device. Here are a few global travel trends for 2014 that reflect how tech is driving the way travelers find, compare and schedule their adventures in exploration.

Social Travel

In 2014, as travelers continue to maintain thriving online social lives, online communities that share common interests will inspire more group travel and online social groups will combine resources and efforts to fund and organize more travel excursions.

This expanding global phenomenon of social travel and social-inspired travel is seeing rise in highly populated countries such as India, where social media has become a critical means to promote tourism for the Indian Ministry of Tourism. Euromonitor, in its recent global trends World Travel Market report, noted that 70% of all four- and five-star hotels in India’s main cities have established their social media presence.

A tech-driven, highly social culture of travel has also helped to proliferate peer-to-peer travel. Digital-based peer-to-peer travel companies such as Airbnb will likely continue to benefit from a growing reliance on the interpersonal connections travelers make online to create the most memorable and affordable travel experiences.

Mobile Booking

Travel is movement, and travelers continue to take advantage of tech-driven mobility while accomplishing travel-related tasks. According to Expedia, more than 65% of those who reserve hotel rooms last minute (within 24 hours of check-in) use mobile devices for booking.

In this culture of rapid speed and immediacy, instant, easy access to travel – whether to book flights or hotels, write travel reviews, or compare travel accommodations, attractions or deals – has become increasingly imperative. The “travel trade is using mobile devices as a sales and customer service channel and has developed mobile concierge services,” reports Euromonitor.

Wider Reliance on Multiple Travel Apps & the Most Relevant Data

At the recent PhoCusWright Travel Innovations Summit in Florida, a common theme directed at travel companies was to build for the future and pull from what’s available today.

The future of travel is more mobile than many other industries and includes an expanding list of and access to highly focused mobile travel apps and tools that collect and leverage an array of specific traveler and traveler-sought data.

APIs allow travel companies to “pull from” this rapidly growing data pool and connect many different types of secure and wide-spanning partner data and functionality so that travelers can accomplish more in one place, e.g., view extensive attraction reviews and information, book hotel rooms, and make restaurant reservations on the same interface.

Travel companies will more and more use developer technologies and APIs to advance usability, creating more seamless, convenient and expedited user experiences that drive user satisfaction and loyalty and save time and resources on building in-house technologies that replicate data already in existence.  

Localized, Personalized, Customized, But More Global

In 2014, travelers live and travel in a truly global playground, with easier access to information about and travel to vibrant and exotic locales around the world. And with countless options not just for itineraries but also for itinerary planning and booking, travelers have become more selective than ever.

Travelers this year will want more unique and individually catered travel experiences that stand apart from the cookie-cutter travel excursion and that have a personalized feel. They respond to more localized apps for travel and more customized messaging that appeal to them on a more individual level while at the same time seeking the platforms that give them the broadest access on the most global scale.

Travelers of 2014 will effectively scour through a wide spectrum of options to find the adventures and excursions that are just right for them.

Around the Clock Work and Travel

Cloud and Internet technology has created the anywhere and everywhere flexibility for many to work while they travel and vice versa. Global wanderers will continue to work from their WI-FI enabled accommodations and professionals will take more work excursions abroad for greater team building and enrichment.

Hotels are functioning as “offices of the future” with both business and leisure guests using hotel rooms for day stays rather than night stays, hosting meetings and unwinding between flights and appointments in day-use hotel rooms.

From the first spoke on the first wheel, technology has expanded the way that people travel and move. Still today and perhaps in more ways than we imagined, technology drives and furthers our travel experiences.

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