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Published on Sunday, January 7, 2018

Travel technology buyers to prioritise spend on customer experience in 2018

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- Buyers to prioritise spend on content marketing, payment facilities and guest-facing experiences

- Yet survey reveals the biggest technology challenges will be in the back-office - GDPR compliance and NDC integration - with a third of buyers (29%) still unsure about their GDPR technology

Travel Technology Europe, Olympia Grand, 21-22 February 2018

04 January 2018: 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


 Content marketing




 Guest-facing experiences


 Mobile/omni channel


 Security systems


 Artificial intelligence




 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


GDPR compliance


NDC integration


Keeping apace with competitors


Online bookings and website updates


Finding the right tools and systems


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






 Existing infrastructure


 Slow adoption levels of new technologies


 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.

Online registration is now open on the brand new Travel Technology Europe website. Visit:  to apply for a free visitor pass.

About Travel Technology Europe:

Travel Technology Europe, held annually in London for 15 years, is Europe's largest specialised exhibition and conference bringing together 6,000+ travel technology professionals. This long established and reputable event connects travel technology buyers and managers with the suppliers, knowledge and contacts to help innovate for the future of travel.

It is the largest travel technology event in Europe, allowing travel technology buyers and managers to evaluate thousands of products and services from over 130 global travel brands and innovative start-up companies across the travel technology sector.

Running alongside the exhibition is Europe's largest conference programme designed to meet knowledge requirements of beginners through to experienced travel buyers. Independently produced and supported by over 120 expert speakers, the 70+ topical sessions cover the full spectrum of travel technology facilitating peer to peer learning and debate to enable companies to drive the industry forward.

Travel Technology Europe provides the opportunity to meet with 6,000+ professionals from across the European travel and technology community. From peer-to-peer and supplier networking sessions to informal social events, the event allows attendees to build new relationships and to share knowledge and best practice.

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