Craziest 2019 Travel Tech, Starting With Robot Valets

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Robots are finding their ways into airports in Germany, Korea and Japan.

2019 has been declared the Year of the Traveler by BCD Travel. Here are some of their craziest 2019 travel tech predictions.

The craziest 2019 travel tech forecast we’ve found comes from BCD Travel. As a business traveler, you just might run into some of these in the coming year:

Alexa Tracks Travel

BCD Travel’s mobile platform, TripSource, make it possible to ask Alexa questions like whether a flight is on time. Other virtual assistants such as Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri are on the roadmap.

Airport Robots

Robots at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport will greet passengers, transport their bags and offer directions. Dusseldorf Airport uses a robot, Ray, to help passengers park cars.

Space Travel

2019 will bring space travel a lot closer, and fortunate travelers might even consider their first flight into space. A startup called Orion Span announced their plan to launch Aurora Station, the first luxury space hotel in orbit, which will begin accommodating guests in 2022. At the same time, British entrepreneur Richard Branson recently shared that he expects his Virgin Galactic is “more than tantalizingly close” to launching its first mission to space, departing Earth within “months, not years.”

Smart Cities

The Internet of Things, or IoT, will enable cities (and planners) to adjust to the enormous increase in residents. For instance, cars already on the road will deliver data about traffic in real time. Traffic light settings will adapt to current volume. Street light cameras will reveal open parking spaces. And attendees will make it to their destination on time.

Cashless Travel

We’re moving relentlessly towards a paperless and cashless society. Companies like Uber are leading the way: The taxi alternative moved the entire user experience, including payment, to its app, liberating users from carrying cash or cards. When it comes to business travel, we foresee a world in which road warriors and occasional travelers alike may never need to touch coins, bills or cards while they’re on the road.


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Barbara Scofidio is Editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In her 30 years in the industry, she has become known for her passion around greening meetings, growing awareness of human trafficking and promoting CSR activities as part of business events. She is currently a member of SITE's Women IN Leadership committee and the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee. She was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of SITE for 30 years, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. Before joining Prevue in 2014, she served as Editor of Corporate Meetings & Incentives (MeetingsNet) for more than 20 years. She has a BA in Literature/Rhetoric from Binghamton University. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.