21ST APRIL, 2020

Top Technology Trends Set To Transform The Travel Industry Beyond 2020

The COVID-19 outbreak has meant that for many of us, going away for work or leisure is the last thing on our minds. But if your business is in the travel industry you’ll be looking for positive ways to keep going through this crisis.

Wherever your business is placed in the tourism/travel sector, you’ll need to keep your finger on the pulse. Technology and traditional concepts soon become outdated, overtaken by more modern ways of capturing a bigger market share. The industry is constantly changing and the adoption of new trends early is crucial. Here are some of them.

1. Travelling Sustainably

Travellers are becoming increasingly aware of issues around sustainability when making their business or holiday plans, and travel companies are responding to this. Holidaymakers are much more likely to shun any kind of travel that has a negative impact on the local environment or economy at their chosen destination. From carbon neutral airport amenities to eco-friendly hotels, consumers are expecting companies to be as environmentally responsible as possible - and will hold them to account if they fail.

2. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

A number of airlines are currently trying out Virtual Reality (VR) in their in-flight entertainment service, particularly in movies and gaming. The market in this area is becoming ever more competitive, with long haul airlines in particular looking to give customers a fully immersive experience.

This exceptionally diverse technology is also being used to for passengers to explore the plane before boarding, and as a tool for training cabin crew. One Japanese airline now even offers potential new passengers the chance to experience a flight using a VR headset. It even comes with lifelike sounds, announcements and in-flight meals! There’s also the chance to check out destinations and take 360-degree virtual tours of places like Hawaii, Rome, New York and Paris. At the same time, Augmented Reality (AR) has helped passengers carry out practical tasks like ensuring their hand luggage is the right size before leaving home, and helping cabin crew identify passengers with allergies. It is expected that travel companies will increasingly use both VR and AR going forward, and of course the data that arises from it. This could be in tailoring specific content and advertisements to particular customers for instance.

3. Big Data

Big data is rapidly becoming an essential part of any established industry, and most companies have their own successful data gathering and manipulating techniques. A key use for this data is in improving personalisation, with companies in the travel sector using the information yielded for shaping their products and marketing strategies.

Big data also lends itself strongly to the analysis of business performance. One example of this is where hotel proprietors can use the information when making management decisions. They can examine previous occupancy rates and historical trends to better plan for future demand. Once likely demand has been ascertained, appropriate promotional and pricing strategies can then be created.

4. Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT devices refer to gadgets that come with a microprocessor and some form of remote connectivity, meaning they can be connected to and controlled by the internet. Examples would include certain hotel entertainment systems as well as in-room cooling and heating systems. Many of us can identify with similar “smart” connectivity at home, like Alexa and Hive. In very recent times, the IoT has also become essential in the hospitality sphere, allowing guests to request room service or book activities using a hub or similar smartphone application.

5. Robotics

When we consider robots, we still often think of sci-fi movies and fantasy fiction - the travel industry is not what first comes to mind perhaps! But in fact, the use of robots is becoming much more commonplace, with many equipped with highly intelligent functionality like speech recognition technology. Such robots have a huge array of uses right across the industry, for instance in pre-screening passengers before travel so reducing queuing times as well as detecting weapons in airports.

How R&D Tax Credits can help meet your company’s research and development costs

The R&D Tax Credits scheme is a government-offered tax incentive created to reward innovative businesses. At its heart it encourages businesses to share new scientific and technological advancements, so that everyone sees the benefit. Whenever your business spends money on an eligible R&D project, it may well qualify for a reduction in its Corporation Tax bill or (for loss-making companies) receive a cash lump sum.

Whether your business is in the travel and tourism sector or any other industry, if it has created or improved a product, service or process through technical or scientific research then R&D Tax Credits will likely apply.

But why would the government offer this scheme you might ask? Because healthy, growing, innovative businesses employ more people and have higher economic output which the whole country benefits from. It’s a hugely generous scheme too, and claimable costs include staff expenses, wages, materials and overheads used up in the R&D process, and much more.

Although the scheme is very inclusive and is open to any UK company, understanding the requirements is no easy task (this is where we come in). However, to give you the facts and get you started, please feel free to visit our R&D Tax Credits webpage.

Why choose Myriad Associates and the Tax Cloud UK portal?

We take the hard work out of claiming R&D tax relief. Whatever innovative work has been completed, whether successful for not, we can help you achieve R&D Tax Credits to cover the cost.

We will assist you in collating all the necessary elements in putting your claim together, including relevant figures and an effective narrative document. In practical terms the scheme means you could see a return of up to 33 pence in every £1 of your eligible costs - well worth having!

Why not take the time to discover how much you could claim back with our Tax Cloud eligibility calculator? Once you’ve done that, the Tax Cloud portal for businesses will guide you through your R&D tax relief claim in an intuitive, fully guided way. And of course, if you need more in-depth assistance or have a question, we’re here to help too. Just call 0207 360 4437 or get in touch using our contact page and we’ll get right back to you.

Barrie Dowsett, ACMA, GCMA
Author Barrie Dowsett, ACMA, GCMA CEO, Tax Cloud
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Meet some of the team behind Tax Cloud

Barrie Dowsett Barrie Dowsett ACMA CGMA Chief Executive Officer
Jillian Chambers Jillian Chambers Technical Analyst/Writer
Lauren Olson Lauren Olson Technical Analyst Manager
Rabia Mohammad Rabia Mohammad Corporate Tax Associate