Andrew Curry, Director and Co-author of The Futures Company is a smart guy.
When he discuses the future of travel in Travel Daily News he makes it a point of saying he tries to avoid techno-centric visions of the future, stuff like flying cars and all-wise robots.
These assumptions or projections, he says, simply do not accord with the world as we know it. A look at the future of travel, he says, has to take into account the infrastructure world, models and social values that we know and have.
Still, that does not stop Curry and his fellow author, Eberhard Haag, head of global operations at Amadeus, the leading transactional processor for the travel and tourism business, from looking at (and predicting) the transformative affect technologies will have on travel.
Key to this, Haag says, is a “more intelligent information exchange. A willingness to challenge the status quo,” and, perhaps most importantly, “greater two-way partnerships between travelers and travel players.”
Their report, “From Chaos to Collaboration: how transformative technologies will herald a new era in travel,” focuses on removing the stress, uncertainty and chaos, which is increasingly part of travel today.
After talking with social trends experts, industry thinkers and even futurists in major countries, including China, the US, Brazil, Russia, there are several areas the duo are looking at for innovation and creative technological application:
• Travel is increasingly about depth rather than breadth of experience, they say, setting the stage for more augmented reality, gamification mechanisms and of course mobile devices
• Checking-in will be a thing of the past. With newer identity systems (chips, biometrics, long range fingerprinting, Near Field Communication, the stress of having to check in anywhere could be a bad memory
• Stress-free travel is everyone’s goal, and stress can be dangerous to one’s health. Look for more mobile Health (m-Health) applications which will allow travelers to monitor their health as if they were at home
• The need for intelligent recommendations will grow considerably as technologies make it simpler to tag, review and comment on travel experiences. Likely, mobile devices will come with mobile tour representatives to curate a traveler’s travel experience
All good stuff, but at the end of the day, one wonders: If travel becomes more and more stress free and more like home away from home, then why travel?