In brief

In brief

  • Each year, Accenture assesses the technology landscape to identify trends that will have the greatest impact on organizations in the years ahead.
  • Accenture’s 2019 Technology Vision study included a survey of 166 leaders in the travel industry from 13 countries.
  • We found that 92 percent of travel companies are experimenting with new technologies to drive growth, innovation and better traveler experiences.
  • These new technologies can be applied for myriad purposes. But we believe three opportunities hold particular potential.

Travel companies have embarked on a bold trip to a new world. It’s a world where passengers and guests communicate their demands instantly and expect gratification immediately. Where interactions are highly personalized and ultra-convenient. Where travel experiences are not isolated events, but part of a connected journey, delivered by a hyper-connected ecosystem of providers.

Digital technologies have taken travel companies halfway there. Now, to meet people where they are, at moments of their choosing, travel companies need to embrace “post-digital” technologies. Distributed ledgers, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Extended Reality and even Quantum Computing (DARQ) will transport travel companies the rest of the way.

Finding your way in the DARQ

Travel companies will use DARQ technologies to achieve a variety of outcomes.

Some will apply AI and Distributed Ledger technologies to strengthen their core business—optimizing schedules, predicting maintenance, creating smart contracts or even ensuring traveler safety. Others will use advanced analytics and digital demographics to develop a better understanding of the next generation of travelers and guests. Still others will apply those insights to shape more relevant and convenient customer experiences. Facial recognition software, wearable technologies, concierge robots and “smart” hotel rooms are already changing the travel game. And then there are the most ambitious companies, which will use DARQ technologies to create virtual experiences that are as good as, if not better than, the real thing.

Ninety-two percent of travel companies are already experimenting with DARQ technologies.

Where will you go?

When it comes to applying DARQ power, there is no single path for all travel companies to follow. But there is a right path for each. That path is shaped by what each company wants to achieve and the difference it wants to make in the industry.

We believe three opportunities hold particular potential.

  • Breaking barriers: Despite efforts to streamline the travel experience, much has not changed. Offerings are difficult to find and purchase. Waits are long. The same information is requested over and over. Companies that can create a more frictionless travel experience stand to win big.
  • Taming uncertainty: Companies that can effectively address uncertainty (e.g., customer behaviors, weather geo-political volatility, fuel costs, regulations, etc.), predict change accurately and manage disruption effectively will achieve a competitive advantage. Advances in AI, big data management, 5G and analytics are poised to help travel companies gain an upper hand.
  • Creating global marketplaces of one: As people’s lives become more enmeshed with technology, unique opportunities are arising for companies to deliver a new product or service—not just customized for specific customers, but for their needs at a specific point in time. DARQ Technologies make it possible for travel companies to establish these momentary markets.

Travel companies are excited by the post-digital possibilities.


Of travel executives believe Extended Reality solutions will have the greatest impact on their organizations. Only 18% of executives from other industries feel the same.


Believe digital identities will give them a new and powerful way to identify market opportunities for unmet customer needs.

How will you get there?

Forward-thinking companies are preparing for the transformations that lie ahead. They are doing three things now:

  • Checking in. To thrive in the post-digital era, travel companies need to survey the technology landscape, identify the new tools and applications that have the potential to change their business, and experiment with proofs of concepts. At the same time, they need to assess the competitive landscape. It’s not too early to engage potential competitors as collaborators in pursuit of better, seamless and more relevant experiences.
  • Getting their sea legs. Leading travel companies are identifying the skills and roles they will need in a world characterized by AI, machine learning, distributed ledgers and extended reality. Data scientists will be in high demand. But so will futurists, storytellers and “hypotheticalists” from outside industries or talent pools. In addition to rethinking their talent strategies, leaders are strengthening their culture of experimentation—a key component of competitive agility in the post-digital age.
  • Preparing for takeoff. Leading travel companies are doubling down on innovation and learning to scale new ideas and value propositions. They are creating an end-to-end strategy that efficiently and effectively moves innovations from ideation to pilot to minimum viable product to scale.

And we’re off!

New technologies are ushering in a new world of travel. It’s a world where travel barriers are minimized, customer conveniences are optimized, and global marketplaces are formed to deliver passengers and guests a new range of personalized, on-demand experiences.

Winners are setting their course to this new reality today.

Where will you go?

About the Authors

Robert Zippel

Managing Director

Michael J. Robinson

Managing Director – Travel

Anshul Gupta

Associate Director – Accenture Technology

Theo Forbath

Managing Director - Technology Advisory Products Lead


Sreejith Sreedharan

Senior Principal – Thought Leadership Research


Technology Vision 2019
Asian airlines navigating relentless pressure

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