Technology advances to simplify travel in 2020

Agoda looks ahead to what we can expect in the year and decade to come

Single apps for all travel needs, passport free travel, and mobile app check-in are the top three new travel norms expected by travelers in the next decade, according to new research by Agoda.

With the continued advancement of technology, revolutionary travel apps, and better connectivity, people expect a lot more from their travel experience in the next decade. Specifically in Southeast Asia, half of all respondents in Indonesia (56 per cent), Singapore (54 per cent), Malaysia (53 per cent), Taiwan (50 per cent), the Philippines (48 per cent) and Thailand (48 per cent) consider this will the norm in the next decade. This compares to only a third of people in the UK and the US (33 per cent).

One in two Southeast Asians also view mobile app check in, allowing guests to skip the registration queue, download their room access key and go straight to their rooms, as the norm in the 2020s, with Singaporeans (54 per cent), Filipinos (53 per cent), Malaysians (58 per cent) and Thais (49 per cent) most expectant of this trend.

Meanwhile, Singapore (50 per cent), Vietnam (47 per cent), Philippines (45 per cent), China (44 per cent) and Australia (41 per cent) are the top five origins most likely to see a future with passport-free travel.  In the UK and US, they are less expectant of this advancement with only 1 in 5 expecting it to be the norm within the next decade.

Technology has already made such a positive impact on how and where people travel as innovative technologies give travellers instant access to millions of hotels and home properties around the world with real time pricing and availability.

“It is a technology golden age for travellers, as technology is developed to simplify the way anyone, anywhere can search, book and pay for flights, hotels or holiday accommodation. The 2000s was defined by the mouse and the computer, putting online travel booking just a click away. The 2010s, was defined by the smartphone and app, and put a travel agent in the pocket of every phone owner, and the 2020s will be defined by the power of data and Machine Learning (AI). This will enable companies like Agoda to provide personalized, more relevant recommendations to make booking travel even easier,” said Timothy Hughes, Vice President of Corporate Development at Agoda. “Asian travellers, in particular, are enthused by, and expectant of, technology developments that enhance and simplify their travel experience. Asian based companies are now leading the world in technology adoption and development to achieve this. I expect to see Asia press ahead with that lead in the 2020s,  especially in areas such as video and augmented reality, improved mobile services with more chat and voice solutions, and payments to help bring the ‘unbanked’ online”.

Globally, people want to increase travel, but also to make eco-friendlier travel choices
Universally, people want to increase the amount of travel they undertake in the 2020s.  Exploring more of their own country is cited by 40 per cent of respondents globally, while international travel more often is anticipated at 35 per cent.

What’s also interesting, in the context of global narratives on climate sustainability, is the trend that more than a quarter want to make more eco-friendly travel choices in the next decade. Travellers from Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia are most keen to make eco-friendlier choices perhaps more aware than others with the recent closure of Maya Bay in Thailand, and the Boracay rehabilitation programme in Philippines, and thus travellers want to do their bit even when on holiday.

Travellers in the 35-44 and 55+ age groups are most likely to want to explore their own countries and territories more (40 per cent and 42 per cent respectively), with those from China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, The Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, US and Vietnam choosing domestic destinations within their top three wish list destinations for the coming decade.

Meanwhile South Korean and Japanese travellers see themselves taking more solo trips in the next decade. Taiwanese and Indonesians would prefer taking a sabbatical or gap year.

Kyoto scoops top spot as the world’s most desired destination to visit in the ’20s
Asia dominates the global travel wish lists destinations for the next decade, as travellers from both Asia and the West showcase a growing curiosity for Asian treasures like Kyoto famed for its Shinto shrine, followed by Bangkok and Bali.

Travellers in Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam and Malaysia want to cross off their own capital cities from their travel lists. Meanwhile, South Korea, the UK, and Australian travellers are the only one who don’t choose a domestic destination on their wish lists for travel in the next decade.

American and British travellers alike are most excited about visiting New York in the coming decade, with New York also a top-three choice for travellers from Australia, Japan and South Korea. Both Malaysian and Indonesian travellers would like to visit Mecca by 2030.

In conclusion, a quick look at how Thais see the next decade of travel.
• Almost half, 49 per cent of Thais anticipate using their mobile phones to check into hotels as the norm, making them one of the highest expectant of this trend.
• 39 per cent expect to be able to use a single app for all their travel needs.
• 32 per cent of Thai travellers wish to make more eco-friendlier choices when travelling.
• The capital city of Bangkok tops the wish list for Thais in the 2020s. This is followed by Kyoto (#2) and then Phuket (#3).
• 36 per cent of Thai travellers would like to explore more of their own country in the next decade, while 30 per cent would like to travel more internationally.


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