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Who is the tourist of tomorrow and what role will technology play in meeting their ever-changing needs?

Undoubtedly, tech-savvy generations Y & Z are already impacting on the tourism industry by building their travel experiences with and around the tech communications that form a huge part of their daily lives. Companies in the sector are aware they need to cater to this demanding demographic who are bewildered by the newspaper under the door and favour high-speed uninterrupted broadband service. The influence of this demographic, who are only just coming of age and dictating their own experiences, is driving advances in technology within the sector, which will no doubt continue unabated.

The global hotel industry has already seen a technological revolution take place and this will quickly spread into other areas. The advent of the smartphone has transformed how tourists approach travel itself and also feeds into how they even experience their surroundings with landscapes dominated by iPads and selfie sticks. Debate rages as to whether the ubiquity of apps such as Trip Advisor, not only benefits but disadvantages travellers who are less likely to discover the undiscovered.

A new and exciting development in the industry is Virtual Tourism. VT allows prospective tourists to get a taste of the place or experience from the comfort of home.

This technology is already impacting other industries such as real estate and is a game changer in tourism advertising. Virtual Tourism will also allow people to experience places that are lost to history or completely inaccessible to the public. No longer will an immobilised elderly person have to dream about seeing the wailing wall before it's too late. VR can bring the wall to them.

It will also allow visitor attractions to push the boundaries of what’s real for breathtaking experiences. Virtual Tourism will also open up experiences to many for whom the real thing is an impossibility. Afraid of heights? Take a hot-air balloon ride with two feet firmly on the ground or take a tour around The Louvre from your desktop without elbowing people out of the way to glimpse the Mona Lisa.

Advances in augmented reality can also bolster worldwide tourism by adding new dimensions in realism to ancient landmarks or long-hidden museum archives. Consider the potential of AR games such as Pokemon Go to create a draw for the future tourist.

At Pufferfish we’ve always been innovators and are keen to demonstrate how our PufferSphere display doesn’t compete against, but compliments this exciting technology. A native 360° monitor, panoramic and 360° media is captivating when viewed on an interactive full-sphere and provides an exciting and different perspective to 360°, allowing users to look in as well as out.

More and more of our clients talk about content that truly engages people with their brand. A sensory tool, the PufferSphere can transform an immersive experience from being singular to multi-user and assist in user engagement, allowing for a more rounded and interactive VR experience.

It’s rare to find an exhibition or event that doesn’t already feature Oculus and Gear headsets, seeking to encourage attendees to experience full VR immersion. The difficulty lies in providing a visual stimulus to draw people to the experience. The PufferSphere solves that problem with the added dimension of being able to facilitate discussion around the content and allow multiple users to engage at one time.

The PufferSphere also facilitates the mixing of flat traditional media with 360° content and allows the designer to create multiple layers of content and pull in live streams to enhance the user experience.

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