How 5G Took Travel and Tourism to the Next Level
Ever since the travel and tourism industry initiated its transition to become more digital and online-based, fast internet connections are greatly appreciated. The importance of a fast, steady and reliable internet connection has been acknowledged by both customers and industry professionals. Hence, the introduction of 5G or the fifth-generation mobile network has the potential to help the travel and tourism industry reach a height never seen before.
5G can bring faster connection to even the remotest corners of the world. This next-generation technology can make the entire travelling experience more efficient than ever seen before. 5G can greatly improve the quality of all forms of remote and online activities. Travellers will no longer have to deal with faulty or unreliable Wifi connections that can greatly cause inconvenience to an air travelling passenger as well as airport officials.
5G enables travellers to access important information about their flights, itinerary, check-in, destination, transport, hotels, or in other words all travel-related details while on the go with faster connection speeds and lower latency. Hotels and resorts can create a more personalised and immersive experience for clients with the help of 5G by helping them explore the locality through augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) from the comfort of their hotel rooms.
5G can help maintain a steady communication line with vendors, travel assistance and in case of any emergency, the local helplines. All travel and tourism-related companies can also leverage this faster connectivity to streamline processes such as online payments and provide real-time feedback and support. Additionally, with the help of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), 5G can also aid travel businesses in upgrading their marketing strategies by observing customer behaviour and customising their content accordingly.
Jerri Traflet, a managing partner at Verizon, said, “With low latency and high-speed data connectivity, air travel passengers and transportation associates could enjoy a plethora of new capabilities and services in airports and aeroplanes”. He also added, “From navigating security checkpoints and airport amenities to ordering and paying for merchandise, food and beverages, to staying connected and streaming content, 5G has the potential to significantly enhance the travel experience.”
In this article, we will be taking a deeper dive into the benefits of 5G connectivity in the world of travel and tourism, that is airlines, airports, industry officials, and obviously the passengers, which can take this industry to a whole new level.
Improving Passenger Convenience
Studies have shown, over 80% of travellers prefer to use online assistance for searching, booking, checking in, dropping off baggage, accessing mobile boarding passes, and keeping an overall track of their itineraries during air travel. And a majority of them rely on their smartphones to check up on all travel-related notifications and receive real-time flight status updates while on the go. All these issues can easily be handled with faster network speed with lower latency of data access which is now possible thanks to 5G.
5G can allow passengers to have a contactless travel experience which is personalised based on each passenger's requirements. And with the digitisation of many travel-related processes, smartphones with subscriptions to 5G internet connection have become a key component throughout the entire travel journey. For instance, with many major airports around the world installing e-Gates, smartphones have become the standard for check-ins and boarding passes. Travellers can easily download important documents on their mobile phones instead of carrying physical copies and use them at any point during traversing the airport.
Improve Airport Functionality
Expanding on the previous point, if we consider the situation from the airport’s perspective, 5G can help the Airport in keeping track of their passengers and providing them with more personalised assistance. Faster internet connections give passengers access to wayfinding apps, personalized mobile messages and other proximity-based digital signage to deliver real-time updates.
While traversing through an airport, passengers can easily switch between cellular data and a Wifi network for a seamless roaming experience. This will allow the networks to manage traffic demands, like downloading large files. As smart mobile phones are now a standard for boarding passes, this also helps the airport to maintain an efficient flow of travellers, from the moment they book their flights to the moment they step out of the airport at their destination.
Apart from passengers, 5G also makes keeping track of inventory easier for travel-based companies. It provides a pathway to adopt more advanced networks and unlocks the benefits of adding more devices while maintaining speed, reliability, and constant support. By creating a seamless connection to IoT devices, data can be captured, transmitted, stored, and processed in near real-time thanks to 5G. For instance, 4G can help manage approximately 10,000 devices in a square kilometre, while the 5G network has the potential to eventually manage close to one million.
Increases Business Connectivity
The high-speed internet connection which is made possible thanks to 5G, has opened new opportunities for every sub-sector in the travel and tourism industry, which also includes the local hotels, resorts, restaurants, attractions, and more in the destination. In short, 5G has enabled these establishments to provide their clients with enhanced, efficient and personalised services through faster, cloud-based, point-of-sale systems and mobile apps and of course self-serve kiosks.
Such new-generation technologies coupled with 5G have minimised any unnecessary human interactions making the process of booking and paying for many products like tickets, food and accommodation more convenient and less time-consuming for travellers. Thus, 5G is benefitting local businesses by creating a fast-paced customer flow which is appealing to tourists as they prefer not to wait around for anything during travelling.
Ensuring Strong Network Security
5G networks have the ability to run effective and high-quality security systems seamlessly. Countless high-definition video surveillance system has been implemented throughout Airports, which can feed real-time situational data analysis to security monitoring services powered by AI. These security surveillance systems can recognise and detect faces, objects and other patterns with ease, thus preventing the possibility of any misconduct or criminal act.
When it comes to processing, biometrics devices also rely on 5G for secure entry. Devices like e-Gate, ATM devices, and automated passport scanners can be coupled with 5G to create a faster-automated process which streamlines operational services. This technology can also be used to reduce boarding times with the use of facial recognition, handprint, and fingerprint.