The Travel Technology Europe annual survey revealed what buyers are most excited about and the impact mobile and AI technologies will have on the travel and hospitality industries in 2018.
The survey revealed that the top six technologies buyers are most excited about in 2018 are:
1. Mobile - Many travel company and hotel apps are now several years old, mobile technology has evolved significantly in the last couple of years and companies may be looking at refreshing their apps in 2018.
2. AI / chatbots - There are many different applications of artificial intelligence in the travel industry, from robots at the front desk to its use in search and booking platforms. Chatbots are becoming increasingly common and it is likely they will become more sophisticated and widely adopted in 2018.
3. Content marketing - Social marketing is here to stay but it can be time consuming and it is often difficult to measure its effectiveness. Companies are looking for new technologies that can help them measure the effectiveness of their content marketing and streamline processes.
4. Guest-facing experiences - With hoteliers facing increased competition from the alternative accommodation market they are looking at new ways to enhance guest experiences. Some of the technologies that are set to be big in 2018 include mobile keys, where customers use their mobiles as room keys, and in-room voice technology, which allows customers to easily call for services.
5. Security systems - With the cyber security threat at an all-time high and companies facing significant financial penalties for data breaches, there has never been a more pressing need to make sure that systems are secure.
6. Internet of Things - Sensory technology has already made a big impact on the travel industry, airlines are using it for bag tracking and theme parks are using intelligent wrist bands. Travel companies will be looking for new ways to use sensory technology to enhance customer experiences and decrease costs in 2018.
Speaking about the potential for AI to impact the travel sector in 2018, Ian Richardson, co-founder and principal consultant, ICE Technology Services said: "AI is one of the most hotly discussed topics of the moment and there’s huge potential for it to revolutionise many aspects of the travel industry."
"With chatbots transforming customer service and more and more people booking travel on their mobiles it’s no surprise buyers are eager to invest in these technologies," added David Chapple, event director, Travel Technology Europe.
Of the 135 travel buyers that took part in the Travel Technology Europe annual survey, 66% of respondents worked in the UK, 20% in continental Europe and the 14% were from outside Europe.
C&IT recently spoke to Caspar Mason, VP and creative strategy director at Jack Morton, about AI and personalisation at live events.
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