New technology to transform holiday bookings

Holidays and holiday booking process will be fully transformed by the use of immersive virtual and augmented reality technologies, according to a report by Expedia.

In its latest The Holiday of the Future report, Expedia looks at how technology could shape how travellers plan, enjoy and return from holiday in the future. From holiday packages that are designed around social media activity to a virtual concierge, the report states that customers will increasingly be able to ‘try before they buy’.

According to the report, with the availability of high-end devices such as Oculus Rift, along with more affordable setups, immersive experiences could potentially be used to captivate prospective travellers.

Rachael Power from Virtual Reality News, who contributed to the research, said: ‘Virtual reality has the potential to radically change travel. People can ‘try before they buy’ by visiting locations in VR, from the UAE to the Irish Wild Atlantic Way.

‘It also shakes things up for those who are immobile or on smaller budgets; the view from Machu Picchu is now simply the cost of a Google Cardboard headset away.’

A recent traveller report created by Expedia found that 42 percent of Millennials in the UK agree that holiday photos posted by social media contacts influence their choice of destination. The report also explains that 60 percent of the same audience describe experiencing the authentic culture of a country as the most important factor in travelling. The commercial use of VR in the future would allow travellers to have a deeper understanding of what a destination ‘feels’ like, before committing to booking a flight.

Expedia also envisages that in future content shared on social media will evolve from the standard snapshot into rich-media experiences. ‘Virtual reality and 360 degree film technology will begin to reach the masses once brands invest in content for this medium,’ the report said.