A survey of travel technology buyers ahead of this year’s annual Travel Technology Europe trade show has indicated budgets could be the biggest hurdle holding firms back this year.
The poll of 135 buyers mainly from the UK but also Europe and global, found budgets were cited as the main challenge to achieving new technology goals.
Budgets beat resources, existing infrastructure, slow level of adoption and lack of senior level buy-in as the problems buyers expect to face.
TTE also asked buyers what they thought would be their biggest technological challenge this year and compliance with new EU General Data Protection Regulation rules coming out on top.
A total of 15% cited GDPR as the biggest challenge while 10% cited New Distribution Capability integration, keeping pace with competitors, and online bookings and website updates.
Next in the list of challenges was finding the right tools and systems and managing costs with 9% and 7% citing these respectively.
The survey found a third of buyers are still unsure or not confident that they have the right technology and strategy in place for GDPR.
The new EU rules will come into force in May placing greater responsibility on firms on the collection, storage and use of customer data.
Firms that have a breach and are found to be not compliant face much higher fines of up to €20 million or 4% of global turnover, whichever is higher.
TTE buyers were also asked which areas they expect to prioritise technology spend on this year.
Content marketing came out on top with payments and guest-facing experiences in second and third.
In addition while only 5% of buyers have already invested in Bitcoin a further 24% said they were considering doing so in the next five years and 10% believe they will within a decade.
David Chapple, TTE event director, said: “While travel companies face some fairly big regulatory challenges in 2018 it’s positive to see that they are still planning to invest in the customer experience and haven’t lost sight of the longer term goals.
“GDPR is undoubtedly a challenge and while some buyers are unsure of their strategy, there is still time to get it right.
“We have plenty of time dedicated to GDPR at Travel Technology Europe with speaking sessions and advice clinics available for anyone who wants to discuss or be reassured about their strategy.”