Hospitality and travel brands must transform themselves to serve the new mobile on-the-go generation of travellers. This means investing in online payment platforms, communication, m-commerce, and marketing.
Customers will demand more transparency, and want to know how travel companies are storing, managing, using and protecting guest data. We will start to see hotels using sophisticated data encryption and even biometric digital security measures. Some believe that with the introduction of stricter data privacy laws, many travel companies will actively reduce the data they record. Like the concierge or the bellhop, data protection officers, responsible for regulating the privacy and transparency of data collection, will become a common feature at hotels.
Another interesting trend is the parallel and contrasting desire for tech-free experiences. For example, Apple’s new iOS will have reminders to look away from the phone and Instagram is reportedly working on a function to show how long you’ve spent mindlessly scrolling. Tech-free spa treatments, such as those offered by the Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong, are perhaps a testament to the fact that as great and useful connectivity is, untethered moments of reflection are just as important to a traveller’s experience.
If a passenger’s authentication process could be developed on blockchain-based biometric devices, the travel experience could be seamless. They can verify identities or purchase travel products and services at any point in the customer journey. Once the industry learns to embrace and monetize blockchain, this queue-free journey will be a reality.