IoT will have a bigger role to play in post-pandemic travel


23 July 2021: Internet of Things (IoT) technology can help to ease traveler concerns regarding personal health and wellbeing, while allowing travel and tourism companies to collect a wealth of data for a range of internal and external benefits, according to GlobalData.

GlobalData’s latest thematic report, ‘IoT in Travel & Tourism’, states that wearable tech devices at airports and other transport terminals can allow travelers to practice correct social distancing procedures and keep to other health and safety compliance guidelines, which stems the spread of COVID-19 and keeps travelers feeling safe.

Ralph Hollister, Travel and Tourism Analyst at GlobalData, comments “Connected applications can make tourism flows safer throughout a smart city or destination, by providing real-time warnings about crowding. These warnings can be sent to a traveler’s mobile device through beacon technology, advising them to take an alternative route, which minimizes the risk of virus contraction during a city break.”

Connected applications can also ease apprehensions in privately owned areas. For example, Hilton’s ‘Connected Room’ technology allows guests to use the Hilton Honors app to manage most things they would traditionally have to do manually in a guest room. From controlling the temperature and lighting to the TV and window coverings, IoT technology allows guests to reduce the number of times they have to touch surfaces that may be contaminated.

Hollister continues “COVID-19 has decimated travel and tourism. One of the main reasons for the sector being so slow in its recovery is ongoing health and safety fears among consumers, which is reinforced by governments. According to GlobalData*, 85% of consumers were still either ‘extremely’, ‘quite’ or ‘slightly’ concerned about their health due to the pandemic.”

Hollister concludes “With 82%** of travel and tourism executives expecting efficiency improvements in the coming years when utilizing IoT technology, combined with the ability the technology holds to make travel experiences more COVID-secure, IoT’s role in tourism is set to grow.”