Yesterday, we began our 2016 trends forecast by taking a look at the retail sector. Today we continue our journey as we put travel firmly in the spotlight.
More of us to take to the air
Travel experts are forecasting that airfares are set to get cheaper too. This is a result of the oil price drop in 2014, which is only just starting to be seen in the form of fare decreases.
Combine all of this and it seems that we will be flying more often and further afield this year. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) predicted that 2016 will see airlines welcome a total of 3.6 billion passengers, which represents a five year growth of 28.5 per cent. It seems that these predictions may not be too short of the mark.
Of course, all of this is likely to put added pressure on airports worldwide as passenger volumes increase.
This means we are likely to see a broadening of methods to speed up passenger flow. Self check-in is one area that is set to increase and with this, airport operators will need to look at how queues to use the technology are managed efficiently.
This is something that we will see in rail travel too. We have already seen the use of self-service machines at stations increase dramatically and many railway station renovation projects have self-service / collection at the very top of the agenda.
Air travel security screening often creates a bottleneck and we have seen a number of global airports utilise our Tensator® Virtual Assistant to advise passengers on security measures to help speed up the process.
The innovative use of technology is a trend that we see continuing throughout 2016 and we could see solutions we are more used to seeing in retail, making their way into travel. This could include the more widespread use of single-line, Electronic Call Forward (ECF) queuing technology, to ensure passengers are checked-in in the order they arrive.
An increase in international travel is great news for the global economy, but the challenge for travel operators is to ensure that every single passenger journey is as efficient as possible.