Travel Trends

New Report Shows External Forces Driving Positive Change in Travel Industry

Part One of Skyscanner’s Future of Travel 2024 Report Looks at Innovations Like 'e-Agents' That Will Shake Up and Redefine How We Plan and Book Travel

Skyscanner Today Skyscanner, released the first of its three part The Future of Travel 2024 report, examining the dynamic changes consumers will encounter in planning and taking travel over the next decade. Part one, “Planning and Booking,” is a comprehensive analysis of the remarkable advances in wearable, intelligent technology, virtual reality, tactile feedback technology and semantic search engines that are being developed and tested today to revolutionize the travel landscape by 2024.

“By 2024, travel search and booking will be as easy as buying a book on Amazon”

Advances like these in technology, together with shifts in economic and political power, and fluctuations in culture and climate, will redefine the travel industry. “By 2024, travel search and booking will be as easy as buying a book on Amazon,” says Skyscanner CEO and co-founder Gareth Williams. “Brands will adapt to changing consumer behavior that expects the travel process to focus more on inspiration and personalized service than the tactics of finding, scheduling and optimizing travel plans.”

Image from Skyscanner's The Future of Travel 2024 reportTrends Shaping the Future of Travel Planning and Booking

The report identifies three top trends that will shape travel discovery, planning and booking in the 2020s.

  • Digital Travel Buddies

    • The next decade will see the emergence of wearable, internet-connected, artificial intelligence devices as travel planning and booking tools.
    • Digital Travel Buddies will find relevant, personalized online travel reviews and comments based on users’ past preferences and predictive algorithms, and, when combined with social data, will suggest intimate and personal itineraries for users.
    • Miniaturized, wearable technology will be able to provide simultaneous feedback, such as real-time translations, as well as include holographic displays of airport maps or neighborhoods.
  • Virtual Becomes a Reality

    • Virtual reality won’t replace travel but instead create a new form of show rooming, making travelers long for the real thing and further informing the decision making process.
    • 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 trip, such as the texture of the bed at a hotel, the water in a river or the plushness of an airplane seat.
    • Travelers will be able to see rooms and amenities before booking, creating a powerful tool for building engagement between the traveler and the brand.
  • Semantic Search

    • Voice and gesture controlled online tools will help the traveler book their personalized trip.
    • A user’s response through speech tools will trigger the trawling of personal customer data at a search engine’s disposal to ensure results conform to an individual’s demands and desires.
    • Facial coding algorithms will enable search engines to read and react to human expressions and adjust results based on the user’s response.
“In the 2020s, each of us will have an individual ‘e-agent’ that goes everywhere with us, inside a watch or a small piece of jewelry,” says Global Futurist Daniel Burrus, author of Technotrends: How to Use Technology to Go Beyond Your Competition. “It will personalize all of our travel experiences, planning itineraries based on our particular likes and dislikes, and act as a tour guide, telling us only about the elements of the destination that it knows we will be interested in.”

The second and third parts of the report will be released later in 2014. The second part, “Travel Journeys,” will discuss how a technology will transform the airport and flight experience with examples such as molecular security scanners and shop-able virtual walls; the third section, “Destinations & Hotels,” will detail the new experiences that await the future traveler, from newest vacation hot spots to underwater and space hotels.

“By the middle of the next decade, travel services such as Skyscanner will be able to deliver personalized inspiration to the digital technology in your home almost without being asked,” predicts Filip Filipov, Skyscanner’s Head of B2B. “Essentially, think of a world of travel where the traveler comes first – and the technology comes together to make that experience intuitive, rich and inspirational.”

To read the full report, visit

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