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Augmented Reality: Reshaping Travel and Tourism Industry


Augmented Reality (AR) is one of the emerging technologies to have a strong impact across several industries. While AR is a comparatively new technology, many brands are exploring and incorporating it into their apps or websites. 

For example, Snapchat is smartly exploring this technology to make it easier for people to share content on the platform. Snapchat users can bring life to their updates using AR filters and lenses.

And it’s just not Snapchat, IKEA is also utilizing AR to enhance the user experience. Using the technology, the app lets users virtually place furniture in their very own space

These examples are proof that the advent of AR has opened new doors for several industries. In the coming time, the adoption of AR is bound to increase due to the several crucial benefits this technology offers. According to a report, the augmented reality market is predicted to grow from USD 6.12 billion in 2021 to USD 97.76 billion in 2028, at a CAGR of 48.6%.

Like every industry that is leveraging the benefits of AR, the travel and tourism industry has also witnessed tremendous growth with this advanced technology. AR is playing a pivotal role in transforming the tourism industry and boosting travel experiences for tourists.

In this blog post, we will talk about why AR is needed for travel and tourism customers and the different ways this technology is reshaping the industry.

Ways AR is redefining the travel and tourism industry

Customers looking to travel need lots of information related to the destination, journey, stay, food, and even places to explore. Moreover, this research goes on even after customers arrive at their preferred location.

AR-powered travel apps ensure this information is available on the customer’s devices, 24×7, especially the most relevant ones. In addition, these apps help businesses enhance their services and offer personalized user experiences. 

On that note, here are the key benefits offered by AR in tourism and travel industry.

1. Easy navigation 

While several maps and navigators are already available online, the experience provided by an AR app is much more fun and informative. You can find even the most minor details like a subway map, which is clear with AR.

2. Enhanced travel convenience and comfort 

The availability of on-the-go information on time can bring a huge difference to the experiences of travelers, which is possible via mobile apps. Using AR-powered apps, travelers can easily find their way through arrows and other navigation-related signs into an unfamiliar city. An AR app is like your 24*7 guide and help eliminate language barriers for foreign users.

It enhances users’ convenience right from booking tickets to finding the best destinations for eating, shopping, and exploring popular tourist destinations. 

3. Better marketing and advertising 

AR-based advertising and marketing have the potential to drive travelers ‘decisions since they can visualize properties and services much more interactively. With AR technology, travel companies can offer unique and imaginative narratives, with virtual tours that render the app users almost life-like experiences. Moreover, marketing strategies focused on AR increase trust and help convert first-time guests into loyal customers.

In fact, as per Expedia, the interactive content from travel brands influences over 78 percent of travelers’ decisions.

4. Easy access to information

Tourism is a thriving industry. It allows travelers to explore new destinations, open up to new experiences, and appreciate cultures other than their own. By leveraging the power of augmented reality, you can choose places and experiences in a much more enriching manner. 

AR is easily accessible through smartphones, which makes the availability of information portable and simple. For example, you can find reviews of nearby locations along with information, locate Wi-Fi hotspots and even check weather forecasts in real time.

Now that we have seen the importance of AR in the travel industry, it’s time to look into the real-life use cases of this technology in the sector. 

Applications of AR in the travel and tourism industry

There’s no doubt that augmented reality has immense potential to transform the sector. The innovative use cases of augmented reality in travel and tourism are emerging now and then. Below are certain examples of how this emerging technology can be used in travel app development. 

1. Local transit

There’s no doubt that AR is improving local transit. When traveling to foreign locations, travelers can use AR-based travel apps that offer interactive map views of roads, traffic, destinations, and the best places to travel in the city. 

Additionally, these apps can eliminate the need to hire tour guides in the future as every vital information that a traveler needs will be available on their smartphones. In fact, with AR, a metro map can be transformed into an engaging travel guide, with options to choose from a multitude of languages. 

2. Hotels and accommodations

AR technology offers hotels immense opportunities to engage interactively with guests and travelers. It empowers businesses to provide information to potential customers in an immersive manner, with displays of 3D views and 360-degree virtual tours. 

Offering information in an engaging manner can increase demand for bookings as customers feel more confident about the property. 

3. Augmented tourist destinations

Another application of augmented reality in tourism is interactive tours of destinations. AR-based apps can facilitate augmented tours of ancient buildings and landmarks and enable users to gain more information about them. Just pointing the app towards a landmark or place can display the entire history and events that happened there, thereby offering an amazing experience to travelers and helping them learn and explore more in real-time.

4. Beacon technology

Another fascinating use of augmented reality involves the application of beacons. This technology operates through Bluetooth. In the travel and tourism sector, this particular technology is extremely beneficial since it allows businesses and marketers to send push notifications or activate certain functions when people enter a specific location.

For instance, Starwood Hotels uses beacons to allow customers to unlock their hotel rooms when they are in close proximity to the door. It can also be used to send users reviews, menus, maps,  special deals, or discount vouchers when needed. 

Wrapping Up!

To conclude, augmented reality has the potential to change the face of the travel and tourism industry. It will take the consumer experience to a different level altogether. AR is capable of expanding the customer base of local restaurants, hotels, and all other stakeholders in the industry. Popular brands are already starting to get acquainted with this technology more and more. Thus, we can say that AR is indeed the potential future of the travel industry.

In case you are looking to develop an AR-powered travel app, you can consult trusted and reliable AR app development companies. The experts can guide you through the entire process and make your app development journey easier.

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