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Cognitive Computing Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Shelly Palmer

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Skyscanner Reveals the Future of Travel: Space Travel, Virtual Reality & Bespoke Try-Before-You-Buy Trips

Skyscanner predicts that planning and booking a holiday will be as easy and speedy as buying a book from Amazon within the next ten years. The Future of Travel 2024 report launched today by the global travel site reveals what’s in store for holiday makers in the 2020s.

The report has been produced in association with The Future Laboratory and fifty-six trend experts and futurologists in the travel and tech industries. It paints a detailed picture of how breakthrough technologies will shape the global travel industry from planning and booking a holiday, right through to exciting new destinations.

In the first of the three part future-gazing report, which focuses on planning and booking, Skyscanner has identified three key emerging trends which will make the process seamless, immersive and stress-free with a trip being researched, sampled and booked in less than an hour.

Digital Travel Buddies & Wearable Artificial Intelligence

The report introduces readers to the Digital Travel Buddy, a virtual companion which uses artificial intelligence to accurately suggest and book suitable trips for the traveller of the millennium (TOM). The future, according to Skyscanner, will see wearable technology evolve from the recently launched Google Glass to a mobile device so small that it will fit onto a contact lens and can provide immediate translations, breaking down language barriers and the need to learn the holiday lingo.

Virtual Becomes a Reality

Rather than replacing holidays, Skyscanner forecasts that virtual reality will offer holidaymakers the opportunity to ‘try-before-they-buy’ by test-driving trips such as a dive on the Great Barrier Reef through technologies such as the Oculus Rift. Haptic technology, which takes advantage of a user’s touch to provide tactile feedback, will enable consumers to actually feel what they could experience during their holiday, such as the texture of the bed at a hotel or the plushness of an airplane seat.

Semantic Search

In 2024, voice and gesture controlled online tools will further help travellers book a bespoke trip based on their responses or even through facial coding algorithms that will enable search engines to read and react to human expressions and adjust results based on the user’s response.

Commenting on the report, Skyscanner’s Head of B2B, Filip Filipov says, “The travel industry has evolved a great deal over the past ten years so trying to predict what the next ten years has in store has been fascinating. With so many emerging technologies it is mind-boggling to imagine just what their impact on travel could be. This report is a sneak peek into the future and it’s only the start of the journey. We’re looking forward to revealing parts two and three later this year which will demonstrate how and where we holiday in 2024!”

The Skyscanner report is the result of in-depth research and a series of interviews with trend experts and futurologists and can be read or downloaded at www.skyscanner2024.com.

Sections two and three will launch this summer and autumn respectively and will focus on how emerging technologies will change our airport and flight experiences as well as the destinations we visit and what our holidays could ultimately look like.

Sign up at www.skyscanner2024.com to request a notification when the second and third parts are revealed and to contribute to the conversation use #FutureOfTravel.

Notes to editors:

About Skyscanner

  • Skyscanner is a leading global travel search site offering a truly comprehensive, free flight search service as well as instant online comparisons for hotels and car hire.
  • Founded in 2003, Skyscanner receives over 25 million unique visitors each month.
  • Skyscanner is optimised worldwide and is available in 30 languages.
  • Skyscanner’s highly-rated free mobile apps are available on iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry and Windows 8 devices and have been downloaded over 30 million times.
  • The privately-owned company employs over 400 staff and has its global headquarters in Edinburgh with offices in Glasgow, Singapore, Beijing, Barcelona and Miami. For more information visit www.skyscanner.net

This report has been created in partnership with The Future Laboratory. To contribute to the conversation and get involved use #FutureOfTravel.

For further information, images or to request an interview please email [email protected] or call the Skyscanner team at Mischief on 020 3128 6600. For all travel specific enquires or wider Skyscanner questions please email Hayley Smith at Skyscanner on [email protected] or call 0131 252 5558.

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