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5G in Travel and Tourism – Thematic Research

The 5G era has begun. From enabling the installation of more IoT (Internet of Things) sensors to improve the efficiency of public transport, to enhancing the usage of robotics at airports to undertake multiple tasks simultaneously, 5G is set to help optimize the relationship between travel and tourism and technology. With the realization that 5G can create cost savings for companies, whilst also improving experiences, partnerships between tourism companies, organizations, and telecommunications companies have grown in frequency. For example, in one of the most recent partnerships involving 5G (announced in 2021), Hans Christian Andersen Airport and Ericsson focused on how to extract the benefits from Spot – a four-legged mobile robot – on TDC NET’s Ericsson-powered 5G network. The robot was used to patrol airport perimeter fencing, whilst checking for damage, showing how 5G powered robots could perform multiple tasks simultaneously, whilst also saving costs for the airport by reducing the amount of staff on the payroll, as no human presence is needed on the runway.

This thematic research report takes an in-depth look at the usage of 5G in travel and tourism. Firstly, the players section outlines: 5G operators, which includes all providers of telephony services and data communications; and infrastructure suppliers, which build the underlying communications systems and supporting software platforms and whose silicon powers both network infrastructure and terminals or handsets. After a technology briefing, a trends section is then provided, describing technology, macroeconomic, regulatory and tourism trends relating to 5G. An industry analysis is then provided with a mergers and acquisitions section, which also includes travel and tourism 5G partnerships. After a timeline which tells the story of the development of 5G, use cases are then provided, with a specific look at tourism examples in a range of different sectors such as lodging and airports. Finally, the leading companies in the 5G theme are outlined along with their competitive position and sector scorecards are delivered, showing how the different companies in each sector compare in the theme of 5G.

“With the addition of 5G and an improved connection for travelers, more remote spots of a destination can be shared on social media, which creates a more connected tourist experience and will also help to spread the economic benefits of tourism around an area.” – Ralph Hollister – Travel & Tourism Analyst, GlobalData


This report provides an overview of 5G uses in travel and tourism.

It identifies the need for 5G to optimize the relationship between technology and travel and tourism.

This report provides a detailed industry analysis of 5G in Travel & Tourism, discussing how it is being utilized in a range of different ways.

We highlight travel and tourism companies that are leading in the 5G theme, such as Walt Disney, IHG Hotels & Resorts and Fraport.

Key Highlights

As well as delivering increased bandwidth and capacity, 5G’s low latency, high density, and improved reliability will enhance the use of robotics in tourism. Due to COVID-19 and the need for less human contact, robotic assistants could become a more permanent fixture in airports, shopping malls and hotels. 5G’s high bandwidth and network reach allows service robots to perform multiple tasks simultaneously, which makes them more useful.

AR in tourism stands to benefit from increased usage because of the benefits provided by 5G. Historic attractions at destinations can be vividly recreated at key moments in history on a mobile AR app, assisted by a quicker and more powerful 5G network. Cultural tourism is now a key driver of international and domestic travel. According to GlobalData’s Q3 2019 Consumer Survey, (xx) of global consumers typically went on cultural trips. If the historic culture of a destination can be enhanced through AR and 5G connectivity, then this will be likely to increase visitation to a destination through the growing popularity of this once considered ‘niche’ type of tourism.

In terms of hotels, increasing demand from the likes of business travelers for high quality internet connectivity has been putting a strain on hotels’ bandwidth and network security for a number of years. 5G helps to solve this issue, the technology offers high speeds for multiple devices while reducing the load on Wi-Fi networks. This creates a better user experience for guests which will inspire repeat visits, which is especially important when it comes to business travelers. According to GlobalData, just in the US alone, total hotel revenue from business customers grew at a CAGR of (xx) between 2011 to 2019, reaching (xx) in 2019. The value that these customers provide means that the provision of a fast internet connection is essential for retention, as many of these travelers will look to undertake work duties whilst at their accommodation.

Reasons to Buy

Understand the impact of 5G on the tourism industry, using use cases to help you understand how you can adapt and understand this theme.

Assess the strategies that companies are adopting when using 5G.

Discover companies that are leading in the space.

To view real-world trends created by the adoption of 5G from across the Travel & Tourism space.

GlobalData’s thematic research ecosystem is a single, integrated global research platform that provides an easy-to-use framework for tracking all themes across all companies in all sectors. It has a proven track record of identifying the important themes early, enabling companies to make the right investments ahead of the competition, and secure that all-important competitive advantage.

Companies Mentioned

Marriott, Walt Disney, Fraport, IHG Hotels & Resorts, Qatar Airways, Finavia, Delta Air Lines, Shenzhen Airport Company Ltd

Table of Contents

Executive summary


Technology briefing


Industry analysis

5G capabilities and use cases


Sector scorecards


Further reading

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