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Wish, click and enjoy your travels

Hari Sankaranarayanan

Program Director, Search, Shopping & Pricing, Amadeus Software Labs India Pvt Ltd.

I am a traveller who loves exploring cities, visiting their main attractions and historical monuments. I am always interested in finding unique features in the attractions I visit. Very often, I go through lots of information about the places I visit, including their origin and purpose, as well as interesting facts, famous figures, events related to the attractions, and so on.

Louvre Museum, Paris

One of the pain points of planning this sort of trip is to choose trip recommendations based on my eclectic interests. It would be vital to identify a smartphone application that could store my personal preferences, interests and visit patterns, in order to provide a personalised recommendation that would suit my needs. I am indeed talking about a smart trip assistant, which could solve many personalisation- related challenges.

I visited Paris in 2005, which is a city where there are plenty of attractions and monuments to visit and a large amount of historical information not to be missed. I always get into difficulties when analysing and prioritising information and I rely on a few travel portals and books to plan my travel. I reviewed a paper metro map, which was very awkward to manage, in order to identify connecting points and plan my itinerary. I didn’t have a smartphone that could track my location to suggest the nearest metro or bus station. I went to the Louvre Museum, which is very big and cannot be covered in 2-3 days. I went through a great deal of difficulty to pick a “watch list” based on popularity ratings versus my personal interest. I was even unsure about where to go and what the waiting times would be for certain popular areas, such as Da Vinci’s paintings.

I would like my smart trip assistant to group and classify the paintings based on certain criteria, such as waiting time, time required to cover the different areas, my personal interest, and popularity ratings. A smart trip assistant would provide a guided navigation with gesture-based recognition methods, such as voice, identifying a particular painting based on images stored in my camera.

I also went to Sacré-Cœur Basilica and I tried to find out more information about its historical significance and related statistics. At that time, the absence of a smart travel assistant or good Internet connectivity only allowed me to enjoy the beauty of the architecture, without knowing much information about the monument itself.  A smart trip assistant would provide me with a large amount of information based on my personal interest, blending data and architectonic beauty in a meaningful way. A smart planner would also learn from my past browsing history, providing instant answers according to its learning pattern. A smart trip assistant would combine information from Wiki, maps, Tripadvisor reviews and other local websites, offering personalized recommendations about nearby places.

Another painful thing when travelling is to ask someone on the street about attractions, restaurants with vegetarian food and other interesting places in the area, as we often have to overcome language and communication barriers. I prefer vegetarian food when I tour around, and a smart trip assistant would know my preferences and would locate for me those vegetarian restaurants on the map. This would be particularly useful in some of my travel destinations where the linguistic barriers were more evident, such as in countries like France, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia. I would be equipped with a smart travel planner that would offer location awareness services, and would provide me with in-flight assistance to cover all my needs. I would be navigating through the city with the help of a state-of-the-art connecting device with contextual and personalised information. I could see lots of experiments and startup ideas generating plethora of apps on virtual reality to energize people like me with more interesting information than ever before. I am looking forward to a personalised and augmented reality, based on a highly intuitive smart trip assistant which would assimilate my behavior, needs, preferences and past trips to offer highly valuable and context-driven information during my ongoing and future travels.

Editor's note: We asked Amadeus employees to share their travel experiences and thoughts on personalised, connected and sustainable travel. You can check out all their responses in the Summer blogs tag page.  

Tags

Traveler Experience, Connected travel, Multimodal Travel, Mobile