Travel guides are dying a slow death, with more than one-third of them being replaced with drones and other technology.
And it’s not just the guides.
The entire industry is in danger of becoming a digital equivalent of the stock market, which is being watched by investors who want to avoid high-cost, high-risk investments.
The experts say the next generation of travel professionals will be able to rely less on traditional guides.
“The future of travel will be guided and guided well,” says Mark Lipschultz, president of the Association of Travel Consultants.
“It won’t be guided by travel guides but by the algorithms that are now helping to guide you on the road.”
Lipsichultz says there’s a growing trend among travel professionals to use their expertise to create products that don’t rely on travel guides.
And he predicts the new generation of travelers will be looking for advice online, rather than at travel guides, rather the other way around.
“What they want is to have a product that is tailored to their needs,” he says.
Lipsuch is optimistic about the future.
“We’re in a time where the future of this business is in online marketing and that’s where we’re going to have the biggest growth,” he predicts.
For travelers, it means they’ll be able more easily search for deals and compare prices online.
“When I say online, I’m not talking about Amazon,” says Paul Dauchy, founder and CEO of Dauchys Travel Agency.
“I’m talking about online marketing, which has always been the best way to reach people in the travel industry.”
Dauches company’s website offers a range of travel guides that include guides for all major cities, and even includes an app to find deals for travelers who want more specific advice.
But for the average traveler, Daucheys offers only a few travel tips.
“You can always find the best deals online,” he notes.
“They don’t make money off it, but they make money when you’re buying it.”
The average traveler wants to be able do their research and get recommendations based on their own personal preferences, and Dauchingts travel advice isn’t the only option for them.
“If you want to get a flight and you’re traveling, you want the best price,” he explains.
“But if you want a good deal, then you have to be online and look at the deals.
It’s that simple.”
Duky says it’s difficult to tell if travel guides are dead or dying, but it’s clear that the industry has changed.
“Every time I see the internet, it’s changing,” he points out.
“And every time, it seems to be a little more efficient, it looks a little better.”