Updated December 2022 – Much of the beauty of travel can be in getting lost, spontaneous interactions, and the great unknown. However, these experiences can be far smoother and richer with the use of technology and digital tools. 2022 is in the midst of massive change, so we wanted to cover the important technology developments in the travel and tourism sector and how you can leverage these travel industry trends. Let’s look in more detail at the way digital technology is being used in travel and tourism right now.

1. Smartphone travel

Travel and smartphones go together like piña coladas and tiny umbrellas. The mobile devices in the palms of our hands make it simple to find new travel experiences, check reviews, and book online wherever we happen to be. Online and mobile reservations have become standard practice, as they offer secure transactions and easy ticket management for guests.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also sparked demand for contactless bookings and check-ins, which are easily offered with the right online booking software and apps that are easy to use on mobile phones. The importance of smartphone travel & technology in the tourism industry should definitely not be underestimated.

2. Complex customer journeys

how digital trends tourism is shaping the industry

Your customers may already have multiple interactions with you on their journey to booking, but there could be many more touchpoints to consider due to social media platforms, the growing use of Online Travel Agencies (OTAs), and the rollout of 5G. Customers may now have multiple interactions for each of these steps:

  • Gaining awareness of a destination or activity
  • Creating their travel plan
  • Booking the experience
  • The guest experience itself
  • Follow-up marketing and rebooking.

Customer touchpoints could range from rich video media and social posts to searching availability on travel companies like TripAdvisor or RedBalloon to customer reviews. Does this mean you need to advertise everywhere? Not necessarily. It’s more about analyzing where your customers are dreaming, planning, and booking, so you can optimize these interactions for a consistent experience.

3. Sharing and planning across social networks

The sharing of travel experiences across social media is definitely evolving – and particularly so for younger travelers. In a 2020 Youth Insight survey, 80% of young travelers said they would use social media to plan their next domestic trip. Millennials and Gen Z travelers are far more likely to use social media or travel planning sites like TripAdvisor than they are a travel agent. Social media is also a powerful driving force when it comes to the future of food tourism.

How can you leverage this?

  • Ensure you’re partnering with key OTAs
  • Share authentic stories about guest experiences on the platforms your customers use
  • And expect guests to capture and share their experience in ways you’ve never even considered

You can even hand them the tools to do so, integrating your booking software with a company like Fotaflo, to share their post-experience images.

4. Virtual and augmented reality technology

How VR tourism is changing the travel industry

Virtual and augmented reality are not brand-new technologies in tourism, but they’ve certainly gained traction during lockdowns. If there’s ever been a time to travel via technology, it’s now.

What’s the difference?

  • Virtual reality provides a computer-simulated environment in 3D, either through a screen or headset.
  • Augmented reality enhances the existing environment with computer-simulated elements, either through a screen, headset, or another device.

Back in 2019, research from Tourism Australia indicated that almost one-fifth of consumers had already used VR to select a holiday destination, and a quarter planned to do so in the future. As VR and AR tech becomes more accessible and affordable in 2021 and beyond, expect new possibilities for tourism marketing and more travel businesses creating virtual tours.

5. Better service from big data

You probably already have a customer database of some sort, but advanced integrations and analytics in your software can unlock new insights into the customer experience. You can now gain a greater understanding of:

  • the reason for the trip or activity,
  • the amount spent,
  • the locations where guests are traveling from,
  • and even their personal interests.

Equipped with this type of knowledge, it’s becoming far easier to provide richer customer and user experiences.

6. Personalized travel experiences

tourism trends 2022

Today’s travelers have come to expect relevant, personalized marketing. If you’re a tourism operator there’s now an incredible range of possibilities to segment your customer data for highly personalized messaging. You could, for example, integrate your booking software into Zapier and MailChimp so that each new guest is automatically added to a database. Send out vouchers to encourage repeat bookings, or send a discount offer on the anniversary of their original experience.

Travel industry technology like Rezdy enables you to have these integrations and also to personalize services on the day using digital guest manifests.

7. 24/7 online service

The days of waiting on hold to make a booking are over. It’s now standard to offer 24/7 online booking with live availability, and with Rezdy this is simple on your own website and via resellers.

Travelers may also be sending their inquiries around the clock via mobile apps, chatbots, Facebook, Instagram, and other social channels. It’s therefore important to check in regularly to avoid missing out on bookings and ensure the best customer support. Automated messages and response assistants can help you to deliver consistently amazing customer service.

8. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Travel distribution channels

Customer behavior has definitely shifted with the rise of technology trends and digitalization. In today’s modern world, search engines play an important role when it comes to your business’s discoverability. With platforms like Google and Bing amassing 8.5 billion searches every day, search engines are one of the first platforms travelers go to during the customer journey.

Search engines is where travelers go to perform their research,

By ensuring that your website is SEO optimized, you’re maximizing the chances of increasing your booking levels to thousands of potential customers.


It’s clear that travel technology is shaping the future of the industry. The digital transformation of the industry means that modern travelers can now do their research, compare offers and complete the entire booking process in a matter of minutes all from one place.

By equipping your tour and activity business to harness the rise of digitalization, you’re maximizing the ability to effectively accept incoming online bookings. A reservation software for tour operators can boost your business functionality to streamline your operations.

For example, Rezdy is an online booking software that equips your business with advanced tools such as real-time availability viewer, automatic guest communication, and integration to various payment gateways.

Furthermore, Rezdy also offers a distribution platform – Rezdy Channel Manager – that connects you to thousands of active resellers ready to promote your services.

Using Rezdy Channel Manager is as easy as:

1. Listing your products
2. Setting your commission rates
3. Letting thousands of agents and resellers resell and promote your products

Ready to take the step to boost your bookings with Rezdy? Start a FREE 21-day trial or book a demo today.

If you enjoyed this article – 8 meaningful digital trends in the tourism industry – then make sure to follow the Rezdy blog. There are a lot of marketing, business & industry tips for operators and resellers.

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