The future of travel

Things are set to change for backpackers and travellers on a gap year with the emergence of virtual tour guides by 2020.

Backpackers and travellers will be able to use virtual tour guides through the same principles as augmented reality used on smart phones and hand-held computers. The virtual tour guides will be able to take you on a tour of a city, pointing out and highlighting areas on interest.

The news comes from a report titled ‘From Chaos to Collaboration’ by technology experts Amadeus. The report goes on to predict the future of the travel industry.

Fingerprint boarding passes and eye-scanning passport control may seem like things from Total Recall but they’re only eight years away.

In 2020, all airports will be paperless and all bags will be electronically tagged. Paperless travel will take the stress out of travelling and passengers will no longer have to worry about whether they’ve lost their passport or not.

Automated identification systems will use fingerprints and eye-scanners to check-in, avoiding lengthy queues and delays caused by manual check-in.

Eberhard Haag, executive vice-president of global operations at Amadeus, said: “Over the next decade, there is a significant opportunity to redefine how the industry delivers and packages services to meet changing traveller needs. Key to this is more intelligent information exchange, a willingness to challenge the status quo and greater two-way partnership between travellers and travel players. We are committed to stimulating debate within the travel sector about how the world is changing, what travellers will increasingly expect and how the industry can evolve in a way that secures growth and profitability for our customers’ future success.”

Andrew Curry, director and co-author of The Futures Company, said: "We wanted to avoid making techno-centric assumptions about the future of travel - and painting a picture of flying cars and intelligent robots in a world that is otherwise unchanged from today.

"We hope that this study will challenge, provoke and stimulate thinking around how we will all be travelling in the future."

The report is based on extensive research and input from key industry experts and travellers from around the world, including in the U.S, UK, Brazil, China, Russia, Spain and United Arab Emirate

What do you think the future of travel and the future of gap years will be?

If you’re planning a gap year for the future then let us help. Go to Plan Your Trip for loads of useful advice and ideas.