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Reaching new heights: Five more travel tech brands to watch in 2021

Posted by Samantha Browning on 3rd August 2021

Following my last blog post about five top tech companies that are helping to change the face of the tourism industry, worldwide travel has continued to remain a contentious issue.

Despite some countries now allowing visitors, regularly changing Covid-19 restrictions mean that voyaging further afield is still a risk. However, tech brands are still taking on the challenge of inventing new and exciting ways to help the travel industry respond to this ongoing issue.

With this in mind, here are five more start-ups that are working to tackle the challenges brought about by the ongoing pandemic:

At your leisure

While it may be a distant memory for many, the holiday booking experience has needed a shake up for several years, especially in a digital-first era.

Launched in 2019, Further Network is an innovative travel startup that uses blockchain technologies to revolutionise this process, changing how stakeholders interact with their customers and one another to create a faster and more customisable experience.

The platform enables peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions like data management, settlement and payment between airlines and their industrial business partners, ultimately saving money and helping to unlock additional growth opportunities. It aims to create a seamless travel process combining travel history, health history, and biometric ID data, giving travellers more freedom once holidays are back on the menu.

In the bag

As a passenger, we drop our bags off at check-in and are magically reunited with them at our destination — but there’s a whole lot of work that goes on behind the scenes to make this process work.

With autonomous vehicles becoming increasingly popular, it’s unsurprising that this new mode of transport is being considered to improve long-standing processes within the travel and tourism sector.

Founded in 2018, Juvo Robotics is currently developing an end-to-end automated baggage handling system to improve productivity, enhance safety and reduce labour costs for airlines. The company’s Autonomous Baggage Tractor can transport carts loaded with checked-in baggage between the airport terminal building and aircraft parked at the gates autonomously.

Rest insured

In a normal year, hundreds of millions of passengers worldwide suffer flight disruptions. In the early days of the pandemic, many people learned first-hand that claiming compensation could be longwinded and exhausting when their holidays were suddenly no longer allowed under travel restrictions.

French insurtech start-up Koala aims to aims to reinvent travel insurance and make the process as pain-free as possible. Its data-driven products proactively alert travellers of any disruption and pay out instantly by tracking all journeys in real time and instantly informing passengers of any disruption.

By engaging directly with the airline customer service team to take the stress out of the compensation process, both the passenger and the airline can benefit. While many countries are tentatively opening their borders, travel has never been so unpredictable. With Koala, however, holidaymakers can find a degree of certainty.

Safe travels

While some holidaymakers are braving international travel once again, many are doing so at their own risk. This is due to both fluctuations in travel restrictions and the chance that flights will once again be subject to mass disruptions.

To combat this, New York-based startup Pilota is adding flexibility and security to flights with an AI-assisted booking assistant called FlySafe. Using the power of machine learning, the tool can predict flight information and pre-warn travellers of any disruptions. Not only this, but it will automatically rebook flights ahead of time, helping people to better plan their journey.

The platform combines the traveller’s flight preferences with real-time data to empower the customer and allow them compare numerous flights based on their safety, flexibility, and reliability. It’s also compatible with Google Flights and various international airlines.

Get a room

With staycations now allowed once again, the ‘holiday at home’ market is booming. In fact, the first six months of 2021 saw 1,401 holiday let companies being incorporated — an increase of 83% from the same period last year and up a staggering 119% from 2019.

Prior to the pandemic, hotel brands were already seeing huge competition and struggling to increase direct bookings. Noticing a gap between the quality of the technology used by the large online players and that of the hotels themselves, The Hotels Network works with more than 6,000 hotels across over 100 countries.

The company’s technology allows hoteliers worldwide to increase direct bookings by using predictive personalisation and offer each guest a unique user experience. Its predictive algorithm analyses the visitor’s interactions in real time and calculates the action they intend to take on the website before they do so. Not only does this give the customer the best experience possible, it also strengthens the relationship between smaller hotels and their guests, allowing any hotel brand to compete and regain their fair share of online bookings.

Tech and the future of travel

In the last few decades, technology has enhanced and improved travel and tourism, increasing its reach through travel booking websites and even showcasing new and different parts of the world to those with wanderlust through the power of social media.

As the industry navigates its way through the ongoing and changing situation, technology is continuing to find ways to change the way we travel — making it safer, more reliable and a better overall experience.

Samantha Browning

With two and a half years of experience in technology PR gained at a London-based agency, Sammy joined Wildfire in November 2016 and brings with her invaluable knowledge of the consumer and B2B tech landscape and the wider media industry. Whilst gaining her degree from The University of Kent in English & American Literature and French, Sammy spent a year abroad living and studying in France. She continues her love of writing, books and the French language in both her professional and personal life. Sammy is a big fan of food, films, travelling and dogs. She loves planning holidays and would be very happy to hear of any recommendations!