World Travel Market (WTM) will predict future technological developments in the travel and tourism sector as part of its 30th anniversary celebrations.

Since WTM launched in 1980, the travel industry has been overhauled from brochure-based package holidays sold on the high street to dynamically packaged breaks researched through social networking sites and booked on the web.

WTM’s technology programme will explore potential technological developments of the next 30 years, looking particularly at the booking process, marketing, CRM and the holidaymakers’ in-resort experience.

On the Thursday November 12, the Travel Technology @ WTM Seminar Programme, in association with Genesys Travel Technology Consultancy, will explore the future of travel technology with a high-calibre panel of speakers, including;

• Cheapflights executive chariman, and private equity group HOWZAT Media founder, Hugo Burge

• Expedia Europe vice-president of product strategy Graham Cook

• Multilingual search engine marketing company Oban Multilingual director Grieg Haolbrook

Genesys senior partner Paul Richer said: “We all recognise that travel is a technology-driven industry. From 1980, when the inaugural WTM was held, technology has developed beyond recognition. In 30 years’ time, our industry will still embrace the latest technology, probably in a new era of bio-technology with mobile devices inside us, coupled to our nervous system and powered by body heat. What that might mean for travel, we can only speculate.”

EyeforTravel will use its two-day WTM conference (Movember 11 and 12) to focus on the increased role the mobile phone will play over the next 30 years of travel technology.

Its research shows 74% of the travel industry believes the mobile is vital for online travel distribution and the key to success of any travel business in the future. While 73% state mobiles will change the way the industry will communicate with its customers. EyeforTravel will also reveal new global consumer research on the future role of the mobile in the travel industry.

The research is supported by a panel session entitled ‘What Next For Mobile? The Next 30 Years – Where is the Mobile Heading?’.

EyeforTravel head of research Amy Scarth said: “Mobile technology strategies present an exciting new dimension to the industry and those that get it right will undoubtedly grab market share and a competitive advantage.

“Mobile technology is becoming part of the mainstream, with what is available to travellers on their laptops becoming ever more available on the mobile. This is why mobile developments will have a huge impact on marketing, payment and CRM functions. Consequently, mobile strategies will be focusing on sales and marketing and this will affect the entire buying cycle.”