Blockchain, recognition and personalisation will play a key role, says Curtis Nishijima, managing director, EMEA at ADARA
Over the past year there has been a vast amount of innovation within the travel industry, with one of the most notable cases being Emirates, who utilised utilising the latest facial and iris recognition allowing passengers to be able to check in for their flight, complete immigration formalities, enter the Emirates Lounge and board their flights, simply by strolling through the airport. These technological advancements have provided more personalisation, convenience and functionality which will lead into future developments in how we travel.
As well as innovation across the industry, there has also been some big challenges that we have had to tackle; not least GDPR. This regulation has been viewed by many as one of the biggest challenges across the past year, however, it is really an opportunity for brands to demonstrate their commitment to consumer privacy.
Taking the right steps to ensure GDPR compliance has not only helped brands avoid potential penalties but has also boosted their brand recognition and trust.
Data privacy is at the core of ADARA’s business, in how we collect, store and process data. We understand our compliance obligations under the GDPR regulation and ensure compliance with all Privacy and Data Protection laws and we have taken steps to ensure our data partners and clients can continue to work with us. ADARA applies a “Privacy by Design” approach to our technology and platform, ensuring that we put the privacy requirements of our partners and clients, and by extension, the consumer, first.
In terms of trends that we expect to see in 2019 and beyond, coming in next 5 years, blockchain, recognition technology, robots and personalisation are all going to play a key role:
Blockchain – While still very nascent, experimentation in this area can unlock new possibilities to immediately identify passengers at the airport, guarantee transparency in tourists’ opinions, and provide easy and secure payments.
Recognition technology – As the technology advances and becomes more widely accepted, we can expect facial biometrics to be used to automatically authorise payments, or automatically check out of the hotel. This could dramatically reduce queues, freeing up restaurant or reception staff to deal with customers who require more hands-on assistance.
Robots – Out of all the emerging digital trends in the travel industry, one of the most exciting is the use of robots to perform intelligent tasks. This opens up a huge number of potential uses, ranging from customer service, through to data processing. A particularly good example of the possibilities is the 1A-TA robot by Amadeus. The robot can find out information from customers while they sit in the waiting room, analyse preferences and intelligently recommend suitable destinations.
Personalisation – When it comes to customer service, greater personalisation ranks among the top requests and those within the travel industry are taking note. Big data and machine-based learning both provide hotels with opportunities to deliver a more personalised experience for guests and this trend will only grow in the years ahead.