When Tech Meets Travel

by Marc Almagro
Photos courtesy of CatchOn & Company
22 Oct 2018

What the Tech?, a trend report by strategic branding and marketing agency CatchOn & Company Ltd, talks about the way technology is changing travel experience.

We spoke to Ms. Virginia Ngai, Director, Strategy at CatchOn & Compaby about some of the highlights and implications of the report.

How was the trends report put together and what were its objectives?

Ms. Ngai: CatchOn has been creating trend reports for over a decade. The objective of our trend reports is to provide our clients and network with the latest research to generate growth and create unique customer experiences. For What the Tech, we partnered with Ying Communications, a Finn Partners company, that provides integrated B2B communications services. We interviewed industry insiders and conducted secondary research to combine our hospitality and travel insights together with Ying Communications’ technology expertise. 

Is technology driving a wedge between the tech haves and have-nots? 

On the contrary. As our research indicates, technology is enhancing the travel experience for all socio-economic groups. In the early 2000s, cell phones were seen as luxury items. Today, they’re ubiquitous. In fact, in our mobility chapter, we address China with its mobile-first mindset. As technology becomes more advanced and widespread, costs decrease. This is what happened in China. A whole generation of people have skipped the desktop era and their computing experiences are solely on their mobile devices. 

Will powerful algorithms take away the element of surprise and delight in travel?  

I don’t believe humans can be replaced by algorithms. As amazing as technology is, the human factor is what creates the element of surprise and delight. This is why service standards can really make or break a hotel experience. Think back to your last experience that really wowed you. Chances are, there was a human element involved. We are creatures of emotions and while technology can simulate emotions, there is no replacement for the real thing.