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Travel technology buyers to prioritise spend on customer experience in 2018 – GDPR is the biggest texchnology challenge

A new survey from Travel Technology Europe shows that despite facing serious challenges in the back-office, travel and hotel technology buyers will be prioritising spend on new technologies that improve the customer experience in 2018. Content marketing, payments and guest-facing experiences look set to be the biggest areas of new technology expenditure for 2018.

Top areas prioritised for new tech spend

1

Content marketing

2

Payments

3

Guest-facing experiences

4

Mobile/omni channel

5

Security systems

6

Artificial intelligence

7

Blockchain

8

Virtual reality

GDPR the biggest technology challenge
The research suggests that GDPR compliance will be the biggest technical challenge of 2018. This is closely followed by managing NDC processes, keeping apace with competitors and keeping travel and hotel websites dynamic and up-to-date.

Percent of respondents cited this as their biggest challenge

Top technology challenges facing travel companies in 2018

15%

GDPR compliance

10%

NDC integration

10%

Keeping apace with competitors

10%

Online bookings and website updates

9%

Finding the right tools and systems

7%

Managing costs

A third of buyers unsure about their GDPR technology and strategy
With the deadline for GDPR compliance fast approaching, worryingly, three in ten travel technology buyers (29%) are still unsure or not feeling confident that they have the right technology and strategy in place. However, seven in ten (71%) are confident or very confident that they are on track to comply with the new regulations.

Hurdles to achieving new technology goals
The biggest hurdles that buyers face in achieving their ideal new technology roadmap are budget and resources. Existing infrastructure and slow adoption levels of new technologies are also common issues that need to be overcome.

The hurdles holding buyers back from their ideal new technology roadmap

1

Budget

2

Resources

3

Existing infrastructure

4

Slow adoption levels of new technologies

5

Getting senior level buy-in for new technologies

Buyers are getting serious about Bitcoin
While 5% of buyers have already invested in Bitcoin, a further 24% say they are considering investing in technologies to support the cryptocurrency in the next five years. 10% believe they may invest in the next ten years and 61% say they have no plans to invest whatsoever.

David Chapple, Event Director, Travel Technology Europe, commented: “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.”

135 travel buyers took part in the Travel Technology Europe annual survey in December 2017. 66% of respondents worked in the UK, 20% in continental Europe and the 14% were from outside Europe.

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