The most important, emerging destinations for the travel market may not be the far-flung exotic corners of the world. According to Technavio’s global travel technologies market report 2017-2021, the three trends expected to make the biggest impact are:  augmented reality, Internet of Things (IoT), and big data technology and business intelligence solutions.

If you’re in the meetings industry or hotel and hospitality, you’re likely already using this technology in your business or trying it out. Here are the key takeaways from Technavio’s report.

Augmented Reality

From virtual reality goggles to augmented reality software that overlays real-time data and images onto real life through your smartphone, we are at the point where this technology is becoming not only more accessible, but more affordable. Who doesn’t have a smartphone these days? The meetings industry implications are obvious: planning and booking tools.

“The adoption of augmented reality technology in the travel industry is in a nascent stage,” says Amit Sharma, a Technavio lead analyst. “Leading vendors are developing travel technology solutions based on augmented reality technology. Leading online travel agencies such as Priceline have also realized that augmented reality enhances the booking experience for travelers.”

Internet of Things (IoT)

The report forecasts that the number of Internet-connected devices will reach 21 billion worldwide by 2020. That’s everything from the home thermostat to door locks to smoke detectors. For those who plan and book travel, it also means radio frequency identification (RFID), sensors, bar codes and GPS that can be used to smooth operations and to track and collect data.

As Technavio points out, planners should note that the rise of IoT also increases hacking and security risks: “As the number of devices increases, it becomes increasingly difficult to manage, monitor and maintain data in the travel industry.”

Big data technology and business intelligence solutions

We often think of IT as a method to solve a problem. But as Technavio’s research indicates, the very same IT solutions are proving to be key tools to help get “business insights into the market. Also, [business intelligence] can be integrated with business processes such as expense management, inventory management, human resources management, and marketing and sales.”

“BI solutions help in decision-making with automated models and algorithms. For instance, in 2016, BI and predictive analytics helped enhance the travel experience for passengers by providing all the travel-related information via smartphones,” Amit says.