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Tech Trends Shaping Travel in 2022

January 18, 2022

As the travel industry continues to face new challenges in the coming year, technology will play a crucial role in finding innovative solutions. Six of our top tech leaders share the tech trends they see influencing the travel sector in 2022.

Rathi Murthy [Learn More]

Trusted apps:

As travelers look for more guidance booking their trip, Rathi Murthy, Chief Technology Officer, Expedia Services Management, predicts travel apps will make the move from transactional interactions to a trusted travel companion. "From recommendations that shape travel aspirations to seamless transitions between voice, chat, and touch, travel apps will need to adapt to traveler needs moment to moment. Exciting advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and other new technologies will play a critical role in delivering proactive and personalized services that will make every traveler feel like the platform is built to serve them."

Jessica Patel [Learn More]

Start-up rich travel ecosystem:

The Covid-19 pandemic fundamentally shifted what travelers prioritize and highlighted many challenges the industry was facing well before 2020. Growing traveler expectations for unique, memorable, and sustainable trips, booking flexibility, and fast, omni-channel customer service have risen significantly as some of the most important challenges for travel providers to solve. Jessica Patel, Senior Vice President, Innovation, predicts a boom in tech startups focused on the travel industry, helping to solve these challenges. “We can expect to see startups focused on things like biometrics to help create touchless experiences for hotels and airports, electronic tipping apps as more travelers go cashless, and unique recent assurance offerings to give travelers increased peace of mind. This means that travel providers like Expedia Group will need to think about how they can make partnership and co-development easier with small businesses.”

Rachel Kobetz [Learn More]

Experience led tech design:

Customer experience has become a major competitive advantage in the travel industry, magnified by shifts in what travelers value. Rachel Kobetz, Senior Vice President and Global Head of Design, predicts a big cultural shift in how technology will enhance the travel experience from start to finish. “Instead of focusing on the transaction, travel providers need to focus on the relationship travelers have with their brand and building more intuitive, and proactive experiences. With technologies like artificial intelligence and natural-language processing, companies can create hyper-personalized interactions that adapt to a traveler’s context and work across every aspect of their journey. This shifts us from a place where flight cancellations cause additional time and stress, to a world where issues are solved before travelers even know there’s a problem.” Travel providers that take advantage of this trend can create better customer experiences, achieve higher conversion rates, and increase the value of each trip.

Tye Strickland [Learn More]

Personal and dynamic experiences:

Travelers are spending more time, energy, and money curating trips that not only offer memorable experiences but also support the causes they care about. The challenge for the travel industry is creating more clarity about the things that matter most to travelers without adding complexity. Tye Strickland, Senior Vice President, Development Platform and Infrastructure, predicts a big tech trend in travel next year will be using data analytics and predictive technologies to reshape travel platforms in a way that offers travelers a more personal and dynamic experience. “In the coming year, we can expect to see better recommendations for travelers to help them get off the beaten track, more clarity on accessibility for accommodations and activities, and transparency around their carbon footprint.”

Matt Fryer [Learn More]

Natural language processing:

Travel demand has fluctuated dramatically over the past two years, catching many travel providers off balance and making self-service options for travelers a necessity. However, self-service options are useless if they do not provide a good experience or help solve the traveler’s problem. Matt Fryer, Vice President, Artificial Intelligence and Data Science, predicts that we will see a huge boom in natural language processing and generation for travel apps. “With Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3 (GPT-3) and access to more data than ever before, 2022 will be a great meeting of opportunity and capability. Creating seamless experiences that combine traditional customer service with modern innovation will drive brand loyalty.”

Michael Gulmann [Learn More]


When we think about transformational technologies, the first thing that comes to mind is artificial intelligence and machine learning. However, they're only as good as the data and models that feed them. Michael Gulmann, Technology Executive and Chief Product Officer, predicts a rise in the use of data across companies with the help of new architecture tools like data fabric and data lakes, as well as an increase in the exchange of data between companies. “As personalization becomes a key focus for the travel industry and beyond, the expectation for data to be made interoperable and available everywhere will grow. Travel providers will need to use this data to create a good holistic experience so that travelers feel it is worth sharing their data.”

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