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Fast FWD Tech-9
4/8/24 6:50 AM3 min read

The Digital Hospitality Travelers Actually Want (and Don’t!)

The travel tech sector is agog with innovation, yet it seems the priority of today's travelers lies elsewhere – not in the next big thing but, in fact, in the last 'small' thing that made all the difference. Accessible internet, seamless AI integration, and convenience – these are the unassuming yet unrelenting demands of the modern traveler. 


Traveler Approved Tech Essentials 

The role of travel tech transcends novelty; it's about meeting guest needs efficiently. When guests can avoid queues at check-in, control their room's ambiance with a voice command, and settle their bills silently, it’s an amalgam of convenience that forges goodwill. 

Digital efficiencies don't just cut costs, they can also command a price premium. it's a tale as old as commerce — streamlined services and enhanced experiences pave the way for customer delight. Here are the traveler-voted heavy hitters:


  • Contactless Payment Options
    Purely functional, profoundly essential. The mobile wallet, transcending borders easily to ensure that petty continental currencies or credit cards are not fretted over.

  • Mobile Check-In/Check-Out
    Check-in today is a glance at a smartphone, a few deft swipes, and a QR code’s magic dance. The art of technology lies in unburdening the guest while enhancing their autonomy. 

  • Virtual Concierge Services
    Virtual concierges not only liberate the traveler from desk-bound shackles but are repositories of local secrets, collated over a thousand data points, waiting to serve up that special experience.

  • Bonus: Smart Room Features
    So much more than a novelty, smart room features are entwined with the traveler’s narrative of comfort, control, and uniqueness.


Tech Preferences by Segment

Travelers are not a homogenous mass. They are nuanced, complex individuals with varied tech preferences. MODIV recently spoke with travelers about their tech sentiments and must-haves. 

Here are some takeaways to support segmented strategies that cater to different high-net-worth groups.


  • Road Warriors: Simplify Life

Technology should connect the dots across their trip, streamlined and efficient. They love technology that saves time and reduces travel friction. The focus here is on providing them with time-saving tech that simply enables, not overwhelms.

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  • Globe Trotters: Enable Wanderlust

Here, technology is about facilitating creativity in trip planning and enhancing security. Help them chart their explorations through innovative digital solutions, and they are yours for the taking. Engage them with tools that both plan and protect, and watch as your brand becomes their anchor in the unknown.

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  • High-Income Millennials & Gen Zs: Be Purposeful, Personal

Tech for tech’s sake is passé for the digitally savvy generations. Streamlined reservation-making and changing experiences are paramount for this segment, which cherishes efficiency. Digital onboarding experiences that are tech-savvy, minimalist, and seamless are non-negotiable. Invest here not in gadgets, but in journeys that feel personal, bespoke, and unburdened by tech's weight.

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  • Big Budget Travelers: Delight Discreetly

Technology for this group should be present but not overshadow the luxury experience. Be subtle and offer exclusive, luxury experiences with 'invisible' tech that enhances rather than dominates the guest's stay. For them, tech is there as a butler, not a friend.

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Beware of the Noise…

A few buzzy features and experiences consistently show up in nearly every article and report on emerging travel tech. This made us wonder… are these trends commercially significant or simply white noise? 

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We surveyed travelers to find out – so to those looking to achieve a solid ROI, think carefully before investing in the digital travel features more than 80% of travelers said they would not be willing to spend more for… 

  • Augmented and virtual reality shopping experiences
  • Bring your own streaming services (e.g. Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube TV, etc.)
  • Sharing feedback and connecting with other travelers digitally
  • Tracking of environmental impact


Read the full Mindset report on Travel Tech to learn more.