TUI, the travel operator that owns Thomson and First Choice, is planning to launch a range of new products, including holidays which it will sell via mobile phones, based on user-generated content posted on its website.
It is also investigating the use of Star Trek-style “holodecks” to give holidaymakers a taste of their destination.
Graham Donoghue, new media director of Thompson.co.uk, says he wants to incorporate new technology including mobile phone swipes, which allows users to transfer information from online brochures to their phone, and a phone tracking system that allows parents of gap-year travellers see where their children are.
Thomson has already taken a number of steps to include UGC on its existing website. It has already incorporated TripAdvisor ratings on to it and it is developing a premium product range based on traveller ratings rather than star ratings.
It will also incorporate a text search tool, which will be powered by Google, that will allow travellers to navigate straight to a particular hotel or villa.
In the future, Donoghue also expects customers to be given a preview of their holiday through “holodecks”, where holograms, sounds and smells will be reproduced to give travellers a flavour of their chosen destination.