As we head into summer vacation season it is a good opportunity to look at all of the ways that we have become “The Connected Traveler”. Our mobile society has transformed the way that we book travel, plan itineraries, communicate about our travel experiences and stay engaged with our work. 73% of the Earth’s population subscribes to a wireless service. (No good data is available on the percentage Universe wide, but we are pretty sure that Google has that covered.) This statistic and the climbing consumer interest is causing the travel industry to develop their mobile booking and mobile application options in hyper drive. Part of enhancing the passenger and traveler journey is to provide them with streamlined, secure access to the tools that they need to be able to stay connected and engaged to business. The other mantra ruling is “make it easy for them”.
Not only are these travel industry leaders looking at ways to enhance the customer experience through cloud technology but they are utilizing it to enhance the infrastructure and operational capabilities of running their organizations. The travel industry is comprised of many facets; it includes airlines, hotels, resorts, agents, air travel web sites, charter operators, travel insurers, food and fuel service companies, tour operators that bundle and/or white label carriers, airport concessions, and so forth. Gathering data directly from device and transferring to the cloud saves valuable, time, money and resources. Also by storing device data in the cloud, both public and private, many travel industry companies can access their data in real-time. The travel industry is finding the cloud more scalable, secure and cost-effective than a traditional infrastructure.
“The leisure tourism industry has been completely disrupted by new technology,” said Neil Ward-Dutton, research director for business advisory firm MWD Advisors. “First there was the initial wave of online booking services allowing travelers to assemble their own trips and compare flight prices. Then the second wave of digital disruption brought together the power of real-time information, universal connectivity and mobile.”
As the business owner heads off on vacation with his family this summer, there is usually a bit of consternation and agonizing on how to stay connected (or not) with the home office. Traveling can cause significant stress for those of us who depend upon computers and devices for their livelihood. If you want to know stress, just let your device run out or battery with no charger to be found! Oh, the humanity…. For those of us addicted to modern technology and communication! Cloud computing is the completely legitimate answer. It is an affordable, convenient way to access information on the fly.
Being connected sometimes is just plain fun. You can wow your travel mates with some of the latest technology like the Eyefi that automatically uploads your photos and videos to your computer via a wifi connection. It can also integrate directly to about 25 different media hosting sites like Facebook, Flickr and Picasa. You can keep track of your luggage with the Trakdot Luggage tracker. And for those that are worried about the home front while traveling you can keep an eye on your house remotely and even control who accesses your home with a wireless Smartlock. You can also keep on eye on your pets at home with the Petcube.
In days past, if one was on the beach in a tropical location, or on a cruise in open waters, they were off the grid and completely inaccessible. Not so, in today’s mobile, virtual and competitive world. Going “dark” or “cloaked” in a world that expects instant response can make or break a sale, or allow a competitor to beat you to the punch and frankly being inaccessible is NOT part of doing business today. Living in a BYOD (bring your own device) wireless society is the business reality. The cloud offers the necessary flexibility for the connected traveler to have control of applications, data and resources that are necessary to run their business and personal matters on the road. The Connected Traveler is Today’s modern traveler. Wonder what the pioneers that traveled the unknown territory of the west would think of this new technology today? We bet they would have found the Find my Friends app quite useful.
So explore the world, forge new frontiers, backpack the mountains and sail in open waters…the virtual weather where you are going is great when you travel with the cloud!