Travel sector uses augmented reality to enhance customer experience

Travel sector uses augmented reality to enhance customer experience

The industry is exploring ways to improve the booking and holiday experience

Companies in the travel and tourism sector are increasingly investing in emerging technologies such as augmented reality (AR) to improve traveller experience in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and current geopolitical tensions, according to research from analyst GlobalData.

According to GlobalData’s latest report, ‘Augmented Reality in Travel & Tourism (2022)’, the industry is using AR to adapt to challenges such as last-minute cancellations by improving the booking experience. Guests looking to book hotel stays can visualise hotel rooms before they travel by using AR to select the most suitable rooms which reduces the frequency of cancellations.

The data and analytics company noted that AR is also set to bring the tourism industry closer to the metaverse, which could provide a safe space for people to meet, plan trips together and learn about different historic sites in a virtual environment before they travel.

GlobalData Thematic Research team analyst Rachel Foster Jones said: “As well as improving the booking experience, AR can also enhance the travel experience for tourists, from translating signs and menus to guiding tourists through popular attractions.

“The technology will play an exciting role in the industry as it is facilitating a stress-reduced and more informative journey, which is important for hesitant travellers who have faced various imposed travel restrictions.”

GlobalData estimates the AR market will reach $152 billion by 2030, up from $7 billion in 2020. 


The Walt Disney Company recently outlined plans to prepare for the metaverse and has been granted a patent to create a real-world theme park ride where users could experience a 3D virtual world without requiring wearable hardware. It will achieve this using a simultaneous localisation and mapping (SLAM) technique to map the visitor’s surroundings as they move through the real world while creating 3D imagery.

Jones added: “By creating a highly immersive simulated world, Disney is one step closer to creating its take on the metaverse by bringing the virtual world with AR capabilities to real-world sites.

“Disney’s new patent indicates that it wants to stay ahead and compete with other theme parks such as Mario Karts: Koopa’s Challenge ride, which already uses AR but without the clunky headsets usually associated with it.

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