As reliant as the world had already become on technology pre-pandemic, from the onset, the COVID-19 crisis forced us, as a global population, to lean even more heavily on the digi-sphere to work, play, socialize and transact remotely while trapped in lockdowns.
Global mobile WiFi provider Skyroam knows better than most just how crucial a fast, reliable internet connection is in the modern era, to both businesses and individuals.
For the travel industry, the innovation of new touchless technologies to compensate for social distancing requirements and accommodate pandemic-era hygiene considerations has been essential just to remain in business. Even once a real recovery for the sector has begun, operations will surely have been permanently morphed by the experience.
Skyroam recently sought to examine the various technologies that COVID-19 has inspired the travel and hospitality industries (and travelers themselves) to adopt, which promise to continue well into the future, and what they bring to the guest experience. Since it's the company's area of expertise, portable WiFi access tops the list, especially given the legions of workers that have transitioned to working remotely during the pandemic.
Hospitality and transportation providers have really ramped up capabilities for contactless and mobile check-in during the pandemic-something that helps to instill guests' confidence across the board by minimizing shared touchpoints and interpersonal interactions. Hotels, theme parks, airports, train stations, etc., have created dedicated mobile apps that enable customers to check-in, order and pay for services, all on their own device.
It is also increasingly common for businesses to integrate customer-service chat functions into such apps, enabling guests to get answers to their questions without having to call or come face-to-face with a representative.
Skyroam's portable, self-contained 4G LTE WiFi hotspot gadgets enable travelers to work and play online from anywhere, with coverage throughout the U.S. and even outside the country. The Skyroam Solis X WiFi Smartspot provides fast, secure internet connections, sharable on up to ten devices, with VPNs and no-contract, flexible service plans. It also has other useful travel features, such as remote camera and smart assistant capabilities, and is chargeable and able to act as a power bank for your phone.
For businesses, integrating take-anywhere internet technology can make customers' travel experience more convenient and enjoyable, and offer them an edge over competitors who don't offer such comprehensive service options. Imagine the advantage of having a reliable, multi-capable hotspot installed in campers and RVs for customers who are keen to take a long-distance roadtrip, and potentially taking their work with them.
Skyroam predicts that, as the general public resumes traveling once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, customers will have a ton of questions about safety measures and various other queries, both while booking and when on location. To handle the influx of communications, having a 'digital workforce' in place (which many providers already do) becomes most helpful. An in-app chatbot function is capable of fielding many FAQs and providing predetermined answers to guests' most-asked questions, freeing up live agents to handle more complicated and high-level tasks.
The Hilton Hotels' Digital Key feature is an example of another ideal, contactless solution to keeping customers safe from viral spread by cutting down on as many touchpoints as possible. In Hilton's case, guests must join the Hilton Honors Program to access this in-app feature that enables them to unlock their hotel room just by tapping their phone. While this technology was available pre-pandemic, the COVID-19 crisis has encouraged wider adoption and promotion of the keyless entry option across the industry.
Thermal video screening technology has been another innovation to move to the forefront amid the pandemic, being utilized particularly in airports to detect passengers with elevated temperatures-one of the initial symptoms of COVID-19. Installing this technology more broadly may help the travel industry to better protect guests and employees from infected individuals by identifying and isolating them early on.
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