France, the most popular tourist destination in the world, has to adapt its offer and infrastructure to fully benefit from the digital revolution of the travel industry. Tourism future is bright according to the experts and technology is an important part of it.
Tourism is experiencing continuous growth – there were 25 million international tourists worldwide in 1950, about 1 billion in 2015, but about two billion are expected in 2030 and over 4 billion in 2050. The major part of growth will come from emerging countries like India and from the African regions in the first place.
According to futurologists, a holiday of an Indian family in France in the early 2030s, will be based on technology. Supersonic flights will connect Delhi to Paris in only 4 hours. Robot baggage handlers and autonomous vehicles will become the norm.
For foreign tourists, the Bay of Somme will be far preferable than the French Riviera that is really sweltering during the summer. Holidays will be organized by an artificial assistant, based on preferences and aversions of each household member.
Accommodation will be rented directly from a French family – a habit that will have become the norm in a world where Airbnb is the world leader regarding accommodations. There will not even be the need to meet the hosts: a robot-butler will welcome visitors and plan their excursions, and they will then be able to share them directly, via an immersive helmet, with their friends who stayed in India.
Obviously, the future is never exactly like the experts imagine. This early scenario, even though remaining relatively conservative in terms of changes that are emerging, is also pointing out the real danger – in the world where everything is automated and robotized, the future tourism could do well without human contacts. People, as many state, however are essential to the emotions we experience during our travels. The big debate about the tourism future is thus whether to put people back in the heart of the traveling experience or whether to encourage greater reliance on technology.