A study from Amadeus reveals which types of tech will make people feel safe to travel in the next 12 months. Rose Dykins reports
Global leader in travel technology Amadeus has revealed the results of its international research into how the travel industry and governments can work to rebuild traveller confidence following Covid-19.
More than 6,000 travellers across France, Germany, India, Singapore, the UK and the US were surveyed to learn more about travellers’ main concerns, and which types of technology would help travellers feel safe enough to travel.
The study found that, for 4 in 5 travellers (84 per cent), technology would increase their confidence to travel in the next 12 months by addressing their concerns about mixing with crowds, social distancing and physical touch points.
Respondents were asked specifically which types of technology would make them more likely to travel. The results found 42 per cent felt mobile apps giving notifications about local outbreaks and changes to government guidance during their trip would help. A further 42 per cent said contactless and mobile payment options – such as Google Pay, Paypal and Venmo – were key.
Another 34 per cent of travellers expressed that biometrics – such as facial or voice recognition – at airport check in, security and boarding, reducing the need for physical checks – would make them more likely to travel.
Finally, 33 per cent of respondents said they would like a universal digital traveller identification on their phone with all the necessary travel documents and immunity status, so that they only have to prove they are Covid-negative once.
Generational and regional preferences for technology
The Amadeus study also highlights how travellers’ receptiveness and preferences for technology differ by country and age demographic, emphasising the needs for personalisation to gain traveller trust.
For example, almost half (47 per cent) of Baby Boomers – those aged between 55 and 74 – said they would need to be able to socially or physically distance throughout the journey to feel comfortable travelling, compared to less than 3 in 10 (27 per cent) of Generation Z (16-24 year olds).
More than half (52 per cent) of respondents in Singapore chose contactless hotel experiences as a technology that would make them more likely to travel, while almost half of Indian travellers (47 per cent) preferred mobile apps giving information about a destination’s Covid-19 safety measures.
For French travellers, automated cleaning tech (36 per cent) and contactless payments by smartphone (34 per cent) were the most popular of the suggested options.
For 25 per cent of UK travellers and 26 per cent of US travellers, tech would be most valuable for reducing the need for physical documents. Meanwhile, three in ten German and UK travellers (30 per cent each) said they’d like tech to minimise their contact with others.
Overall findings and recommendations
The Amadeus survey identified five key things travellers would most like technology to do for their travel based on people’s responses:
1) Reduce queues and congestion in public spaces (38 per cent)
2) Minimise face-to-face or physical contact with others (31 per cent)
3) Protect financial data and personal information (31 per cent)
4) Notify in advance when there is a delay (29 per cent)
5) Ensure the accuracy and effectiveness of national test, track and trace programs (28 per cent)
Furthermore, the results highlighted five top recommendations for building traveller confidence again:
1) Provide access to flexible change, cancellations policies and payment terms to avoid losing money (39 per cent)
2) Limit the number of passengers on a plane (38 per cent)
3) An ability for travellers to socially or physically distance themselves throughout the journey (36 per cent)
4) Having visibility to and assurance of sanitisation, hygiene and safety measures in hotels and accommodations (36 per cent)
5) Effective test, track and trace programs in place (34 per cent)
“This research provides a source of optimism for the industry as many of the travellers’ concerns can be addressed by technology available now, at every stage of a traveler’s experience,” says Christophe Bousquet, chief technology officer for Amadeus.
“Whether it is new mobile applications, biometrics or contactless solutions, we need to explore together as an industry and with governments how best to accelerate adoption if we are to encourage global travel, which is a major driver of global prosperity.”
Stefan Ropers, president of Strategic Growth Businesses at Amadeus adds: “From finding suitable destinations to going through airports and paying for travel services, today’s travellers want reassurance that their journey will be stress-free, prioritising safety and hygiene, as well as experiences that meet their needs.
“This requires overcoming industry siloes to build a better experience by connecting the travel ecosystem, for example, via digital identity management, linking every step of the traveler journey.”