Digital holidays and UV screening: how the travel industry is using technology to adapt to COVID times

Since it's World Tourism Day on September 27, we take a look at some interesting ways in which airports and brands are reinventing and adapting themselves to life as we know it

author_img Ana M Published :  26th September 2020 02:21 PM   |   Published :   |  26th September 2020 02:21 PM


2020 hasn't been a great year for travel. After the pandemic broke out, the travel industry came to a screeching halt. Now as we are slowly coming out of this standstill, the industry is using ingenious technology to make sure safety standards are up to the mark. Since it is World Tourism Day on September 27, we take a look at some interesting ways in which airports and brands are reinventing and adapting themselves to life as we know it:

Tunnel UV systems
As a high-touch and multi-use apparatus, security trays are a potential hotspot of transmission if not adequately disinfected. Gatwick Airport also known as London Gatwick, a major international airport near Crawley, Sussex, has rolled-out a tunnel UV system, which will come into service by the end of September. Passengers and their belongings will proceed through security scans as normal, while the UV tunnel system automatically disinfects trays after use. It is hoped the new measures will significantly cut the risk of infection when passing through airport security.

Friendlier-looking PPE Kits
Etihad Airways has introduced a less surgical design for their PPE kits, whilst still prioritising optimum safety, they’re finding the balance between being COVID-secure and avoiding the fear that often comes as part of that. The company is focussing on making it customer centric and communicating with warmth and humanity. The airline has also partnered with an insurance firm AXA and has introduced “COVID-19 global wellness insurance cover’. If its customers are tested positive for COVID-19 while they’re away, the company will take care of medical expenses and quarantine costs.

Contactless check-in and check-out
OYO Townhouse is a global hospitality brand that promises a friendly neighbourhood hotel experience to millennial travellers. The hotel brand has introduced Sanitised Stays and Scrubbed Clean programme which promotes contact-less check-in and check-out, smarter rooms, includes antivirus kit for each of its guests which includes - gloves, masks, sanitiser, sanitary wipes. The hospitality brand has also put markers on the floor to ensure guests maintain a minimum of six foot distance from each other if a queue is anticipated (e.g. check-in desk, market pantry, vending machines).

Digital holidays from your home
AirBnB has reinvented its offerings to suit the growing needs of  customers for a virtual connect. They have introduced an ‘Online Experience’ which aims to introduce guests to expert hosts and provide a way to meet and interact with new people globally. These experiences are available online via zoom calls which includes wide array of activities including cooking, meditation, cocktail making, music lessons, which in normal times be part of a trip. One can meditate with the beautiful scenic scenes in Scotland or perfect pizza-making skills with a live cooking class from Italy - all from the comfort of one’s couch.