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Biometrics, AI, and more: Key tech priorities for travel in 2024

Amadeus research finds pace of travel industry transformation set to accelerate with 14% increase in technology investment

New global research conducted by Amadeus, titled “Travel Technology Investment Trends,” indicates a significant surge in technology investment across the travel sector in 2024.

The findings reveal a proactive stance towards embracing digital transformation, with a remarkable 91 percent of surveyed travel companies anticipating moderate to aggressive increases in investment within their organisations for the current year.

Read the summer print edition of AccomNews HERE

Newly launched, this comprehensive study delves into the investment intentions and technology priorities of various stakeholders in the travel industry across ten markets. It encompasses eight distinct sectors, including full-service and low-cost airlines, airports, hotels, travel sellers (both online and offline), corporations, and travel payment departments, shedding light on both current standings and future aspirations.

Rising investment across the industry

The research paints a promising picture for the travel technology market, with over two-thirds (67 percent) of senior decision-makers expressing intentions to boost technology investment specifically in 2024 compared to the previous year. This enthusiasm is reflected across different sectors, with airports leading the charge with a projected average increase of 17 percent, closely followed by corporations and hotels at 15 percent and 14 percent, respectively. Airlines and travel sellers are also poised to ramp up their technology spending by 13 percent, while travel payments departments anticipate a 12 percent uptick.

Key technology priorities

The industry’s focus on smarter retailing, personalisation, and digital efficiency emerges as a key theme for 2024. Notable highlights include:

  • Full-service airlines anticipate an 18 percent revenue increase from transitioning to modern retailing, with optimism that the shift to ‘Offer & Order’ will materialise within the next four years.
  • Biometrics integration is gaining momentum, with 60 percent of airports planning to implement biometric solutions across various touchpoints within the airport experience over the next five years.
  • Personalisation is identified as a significant driver of revenue growth for the hospitality sector, with 85 percent of respondents believing it could yield over 5 percent incremental revenue.
  • New Distribution Capability (NDC) emerges as a top technology priority for leisure travel agents, with 40 percent aiming to implement it within the next 12 months.
  • A third of corporate travel managers are gearing up to digitise the complete end-to-end expense management process over the next year.
  • Travel payments leaders are prioritising the implementation of payments orchestration to enhance global payments flows within the coming 12 months.

Industry leaders’ insights

Decius Valmorbida, President of Travel at Amadeus, highlights the significance of maximising digital investments to enhance the traveller experience and drive meaningful impact across the travel ecosystem. He highlights the transformative potential of existing technologies such as biometrics, which are already shaping more contextualised and relevant travel experiences.

Francisco Pérez-Lozao Rüter, President of Hospitality at Amadeus, echoes the sentiment, emphasising the pivotal role of technology in unlocking the value of the travel ecosystem and fostering growth and innovation. He acknowledges the sector’s ambitious outlook towards embracing the next generation of technology solutions.

Top priority technologies

According to industry leaders, machine learning emerges as the most critical technology for businesses, both in the current year and over the next five years. Data analytics and cloud computing also feature prominently as top investment priorities across all sectors.

Looking ahead…

The results of the Travel Technology Investment Trends study will be presented in Extended Reality, underscoring Amadeus’ commitment to leveraging innovative platforms to disseminate insights. In-depth reports focusing on specific sectors explored in the research will be released throughout the first half of 2024, providing stakeholders with actionable intelligence to navigate the evolving landscape.

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