Modern Technology and the Rise of the Independent Traveler

As the world strives to regain some sense of normalcy, the travel industry is growing once more. At the same time, the industry itself has continued to evolve. Across all ages and demographics, a new type of independent traveler has evolved, favoring a new form of tourism.

Today’s travelers want more freedom than ever before. They are more likely to splurge on spur-of-the-moment activities than to plan ahead. They demand an industry that caters to their own pace and needs and not vice versa. They are tech-savvy and increasingly likely to utilize social media and different forms of technology as they explore and plan to explore. Today, twice as many travelers aim to travel independently as they did pre-pandemic. So, what exactly has driven this sizable shift in the market?

While there are a number of factors at play, modern technology, and the modern traveler undoubtedly go hand in hand. As the two have developed simultaneously, it may be a bit of the chicken or the egg situation.

There’s the question, has modern technology influenced the modern traveler, or has the modern traveler influenced modern technology?

According to a 2020 study, 46% of travel companies worldwide were implementing or working to implement automated messaging programs known as chatbots. The tech bypasses email chains, lengthy phone calls, and most of all the dreaded, “please hold.” Today’s travelers have no time to wait. Patience seems to be a thing of the past. The smartphone has also become ubiquitous around the globe, so it’s no surprise that travelers expect more from the technology in their pockets. 42 percent of respondents from a Statista study stated that applications that provide alerts and on-trip notifications would increase confidence to travel in our current Covid-world.

So, as it has been demonstrated, modern travelers like technology; but does that mean they’re independent?

Well, sort of. TripAdvisor released a report stating that 45% of travelers use their smartphones for vacations. If we have a tour guide in our pockets, an incredibly accurate digital map in our hand, and access to all the restaurants in the world in a few clicks, aren’t we all of a sudden completely independent?

As technology continues to grow and develop and the modern traveler has even more information available in just seconds, it’s no surprise that independent travel continues to boom. Out with the old, in with the new.

But that doesn’t mean the tourism industry hasn’t evolved with them. In fact, as this new type of traveler becomes more of a common occurrence, newer experiences have been created to cater to them. Now, experiences have to fully consider flexibility and ample choices, allowing tourists to be the leaders of their own travels. Their time is on their hands, and we host them without limiting it.

Why be dependent when you can be, dare we say independent?  At GlobalCruises we are catering to this new traveler. If you want to learn more, visit our Technology-Driven Experiences, City Highlights, and New Trends categories.