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Digital Transformation & Digital Travel Trends

By December 15, 2022January 8th, 2023No Comments

As we know Digital Transformation in the tourism industry is not a new concept, it was first and foremost a need in difficult times. But now how will it continue, and what are the trends that will be outlined?

In the past two years digital transformation has been disruptive, as well as across the entire tourism industry supply chain, far beyond accommodation and transportation. Read our article for an overview.

From digital shift to digital transformation

Digital transformation is on everyone’s lips, you might say, but what changes and innovations are we really managing to track? Its implementation is difficult due to multiple factors:

  • Digital transformation comes with a disruptive change in the way an organization or business operates, and that is why it is a slow process.
  • Transformation can mean several things. According to the new Skift Research, Digital transformation is not a mere digital shift. All companies recognize the imperative to migrate their analog products to digital channels. But what many companies do not realize-or are unwilling to fully address-is that the shift to online is only the starting point. The depth of change is often simplified: transformation means changing and adapting practices, processes, and philosophy at all levels of the organization. It is no longer enough to just “go digital.”

When the travel industry returned to growth, digital solutions were a lifeline. Now the travel industry is coming out of a period of historical crisis and entering an economic period that is still rich in complexity, with an unprecedented explosion in consumer demand. This has strained systems and personnel, underscoring the urgent need for flexible solutions.

To find guidance along this “journey,” travel managers are seeking answers to the following questions:

  • How are systems, solutions and digital initiatives evolving?
  • How can we leverage advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and cloud computing?
  • How are companies really benefiting from digital solutions to improve customer experience, cost savings, operational efficiency, and staffing and staffing issues?

From providing contactless services, to trying to tap into unpredictable supply and demand, digital investments have become a new strategic focus. Airlines, hotels, and destination operators have rapidly adopted cloud-based reservation systems, contactless check-in, and chatbots for mobile messaging, and have begun to deepen the need for automated solutions and AI and ML programs.

Across the travel ecosystem, digital transformation is redefining the operating environment and every stage of the customer journey. Let’s look at some data comparing 2021 and 2022 to see where we are.

Some Data on Digital Transformation

Optimism is ever-increasing, although the road is still long and the results not always obvious. 37.6 percent of research respondents have improved their position from 2021 (29.5 percent) in reference to the digital transition. And “skeptics,” or those companies that had never before worked with technology (6.0%), have decreased.

Digital TransformationSource: Skift Digital Transformation Report 20221

To understand the depth and breadth of the industry’s digital priorities, Skift and AWS asked travel executives to consider their top business goals for the next few years and how they are using digital solutions to advance these business initiatives.

Travel industry leaders listed improving customer service as their number one business goal in 2022 and 2023 by a wide margin. Nearly 50 percent chose “improve customer service” as one of their top three goals for the next two years. The second most popular response was to act on marketing and advertising, (42.1%).

Digital TransformationDigital Transformation

Source: Skift Digital Transformation Report 2022

Travelers have proven it loud and clear: they want options that are always personalized and self-service. They want brands to connect with them, get to know them, and anticipate their needs at all times. With all the data they provide, they expect value in return. According to the Skift and AWS survey, more than half of travel managers said that “being available on all touchpoints at any time” is the digital strategy that will have the greatest impact on customer service in 2022. Another 43.3 percent said automated, always-on communication is a key element in delivering a better customer experience.

Digital Transfromation_Marketing

Fonte: Skift Digital Transformation Report 2022

Digital Transformation Trends

After looking at the data, let’s detect some Digital Trends that will outline in the future.


These mobile apps are designed to be consistent with a typical customer feature; that is, these people are often away from the location of the “product” and “enjoy” the product while on the move. Applications on smart cell phones enable customers to leverage information, perform transactions, and integrate a wide range of other utilities. For example, applications on smartphones are now also used to open hotel rooms, order meals served in rooms, or order additional services at the hotel… In fact, reality has shown that with mobile devices people can plan their entire trip, from booking tickets, booking services, finding information about places to visit, choosing a guide during the trip without having to interact directly with anyone traditionally.

Artificial intelligence and chatbots

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has established itself in the trends of digital markets, and the tourism sector is no exception. A chatbot is a program created on a computer, which can be defined as a tool that allows humans to communicate interactively through pre-programmed artificial intelligence. Chatbots are divided into two categories by the way they interact with humans, auditory (sound) and textual (text), and the use of these chatbots is now increasingly common on business travel websites. The advantage of a chatbot is the ability to work uninterrupted and be ready to respond to different types of requests from people, such as processing a reservation request, reporting the weather, showing the location of ATMs… Available anywhere, anytime, and in any language.

Internet of Things

With more and more devices connected to the Internet, travel tourism companies can find ways to leverage it to serve customers more conveniently and effectively. IoT data enables companies to learn about customers’ needs, their requirements, their travel habits and other features, so they can pass on to potential customers the information they know is of interest to them. IoT data mining helps companies increase their ability to sell products, learn more about customers, and at the same time help customers save time in researching and performing actions to purchase the products they want.

Virtual Reality and Metaverse

The term Virtual Tour or Interactive Tour appeared in 1994, and over time its application has evolved. To meet the needs of customers to always seek new information and experience travel destinations before and during travel, many tourist sites, hotels, and experience providers have initiated virtual tours or interactive tours through the recreation of images, videos, other multimedia elements such as sound effects, music or narration, descriptions, and text. The factor that makes the virtual tour attractive to tourists is the application of new technologies as an integral part of the system, such as 360 photos, 360 videos, panoramic photos, Flycam photos… Guests can stimulate their travel inspiration.

This virtual reality base is evolving to more and more concrete horizons, such as the metaverse, which will have huge impacts on tourism as well. This is another story that would deserve many more pages. For now, one can be assured that virtual travel experiences in the metaverse will not affect physical vacation bookings. On the contrary, the metaverse would offer the travel and tourism industry a new tool to connect with consumers.

Continuous developments are emerging from the trends and data, and once again the importance of Digital Transformation in tourism is steady. We always hope that in the future technology will be put at the service of tourism, and not a replacement for it.


  1. “AWS and Skift surveyed 951 senior leaders in the travel and hospitality industry in 12 markets around the world in May and June 2022. Survey participants were from more than 20 industries and included travel managers and decision-makers from such segments as IT, marketing, analytics, sales, finance, operations, customer service, e-commerce”.