Tourism in the U.S. is a growing industry, and around 1.4 billion international visitor arrivals were recorded in 2018, which showed a 6% growth rate compared to 2017. Unfortunately, going places comes at a price, affecting local culture, disrupting traditional ways of life, increasing carbon footprints, and creating pollution. The good news is technology is also keeping pace with tourism growth, and there are several ways that tech innovations can help you travel ethically and responsibly.
Virtual Reality (VR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI)
In the past, you probably needed to make a few trips to travel agencies to gather brochures, information, or talk to a sales representative for a potential vacation destination. Today, you can easily go online and browse through the offerings of travel operators. To make your experience smoother, there are even VR tours that you can do, so you can check if the destination will meet your expectations or is to your liking.
In addition, AI also helps you look at all the options out there. If you have questions, chat bots are available to answer queries. This speeds up the process of planning your travel and improves quality and performance. Moreover, internet connectivity also assists in improving real-time decision making whether you’re looking for directions, a place to eat or visit, and so on. It can also help you find out in depth about your chosen destination, read up on the local customs and traditions so you know what not to do or how to behave properly when you get there to avoid offending people or disturbing the environment.
Hybrid and Autonomous Vehicles
One of the major things that you can do to travel responsibly is to select an eco-friendly form of transportation. If you intend to drive to your destination, a feasible option is to hire a hybrid vehicle which has a gasoline and an electric engine. Hybrid cars reduce your carbon footprint since they have better gas mileage and are fuel-efficient compared to regular vehicles. When driving at low speeds, electric power is consumed saving on gas and helping the environment. The motor engine only kicks in when the electricity is used up or to supply additional power.
Autonomous vehicles are also alternative transport options that you can use when traveling. Although manufacturers and tech companies are making significant progress, there is still a lot to be done before you can use a self-driving car. But, once they are ready for public use, driverless cars can benefit society and the environment. Studies show that a well-managed fleet of autonomous vehicles can improve safety, reduce accidents, lower energy use, and bring down carbon emission levels.
Advances in technology are not only helping travelers improve their overall experience from choosing a destination to finding places to visit. Technology also assists in achieving efficiencies by saving time and reducing environmental damage.