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Travel providers must take care to protect client data: Corbin Ball

Corbin Ball, CSP, CMP, DES, MS, owner Corbin Ball & Co, an international speaker, consultant and writer who helps clients use technology to save time and improve productivity, highlights the technology solutions that are predicted to revolutionise the travel industry.

Corbin Ball, CSP, CMP, DES, MS, owner Corbin Ball & Co, an international speaker, consultant and writer who helps clients use technology to save time and improve productivity, highlights the technology solutions that are predicted to revolutionise the travel industry. By Reema Lokesh

What are the technology solutions or apps that will revolutionise the travel industry and compel the travel trade stakeholders to rework their model and adapt to change?

Well I feel there are many:

A. Machine learning and AI will lead to increase personalization both for hotels and airlines.

B. Facial recognition is moving into airline check-in and in initial stages for hotels (especially in China).

C. The rise of online meeting space booking tools (especially for non-traditional spaces using Airbnb like interfaces) will offer many more options.

D. The rise of Google in air and hotel booking.

E. The internet of things will move into the guest room (occupancy detectors, smart speakers, mobile keys, biometric access, streaming video, and much more)

F. Voicebots and chatbots will be used in hotels for customer service and also worker communication.

G. Augmented and virtual reality will work their way in travel (virtual site inspections/hot spots/etc.)

H. Blockchain will work into flight booking, hotel reservations and car rentals.

Technology will continue to transform the industry to make things more personalised and, in general, a smoother experience. Tourism stakeholders should be prepared to embrace these change to stay competitive.

What should tourism professionals keep in mind about the future?

Embrace technology change! Millennials and Gen Z like to travel and are increasingly moving into purchasers. They also expect up-to-date technology in their booking and travel experiences.

Any challenges you see with rapid technology developments?

There are privacy and security issues that should be discussed. Facial recognition can be concerning to many people, especially if it is being used for government surveillance. Hackers are becoming more numerous and sophisticated, so travel providers must take care to protect client data. Many of the devices in the internet of things need to have higher protection levels for data security.

What are positive repercussions of technology in travel?

Technology, when used properly, can streamline travel booking and make the experience more personal, friction-free and memorable.

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