A new poll for Travel Technology Europe has found legacy systems are the biggest barrier to digital transformation within the travel industry.
The survey of suppliers and buyers who attend the annual London trade show found 48% of travel professionals put outdated technology at the top of the list of barriers to transformation.
This was followed by ‘knowledge gaps’ (45%), ‘budget’ (39%) and ‘talent / skills gaps’ (30%).
Another major barrier highlighted by respondents was a ‘lack of board buy-in or corporate vision’, with just over a quarter highlighting this as an issue.
Charlotte Lamp Davies, A Bright Approach founder and advisor to TTE, said: “The travel sector is still rife with legacy systems and these results confirm just what an impact this is having on progress. Endless amounts of ‘patchwork’ solutions are being executed to antiquated technology platforms, which prevent many established travel companies from moving forward.”
She added a warning that: “New players with better tech will eradicate and replace those who don’t invest in new technology.”
Lamp Davies’ thoughts were echoed by Paul Stephen, chief executive at digital agency Sagittarius who said: “Most travel brands have legacy technology at their core and are also held back by habit. This is very difficult to change and holds back progress”.
Outside of the main barriers to digitisation mentioned, respondents also implied that a lack of integration between technology suppliers, alongside the speed of change within the sector, was preventing travel companies from making much-needed improvements in this area.
Brian Sheerin, managing director at SABS, said: “Moving away from legacy systems requires significant investment and development of talent, which is why so much leisure travel technology still relies on them. The truth is, though, they are very quickly becoming unfit for purpose, are clunky to use and a drain on time and resources.”