Travel companies are expected to boost technology investment by 14% in 2024, according to new research from Amadeus.

The company’s “Travel Technology Investment Trends” study found that 91% of companies surveyed expect “moderate to aggressive” investment increases this year.

Priorities for respondents include machine learning, data analytics and digital payments.

In addition, the majority of airlines – 98% – have already initiated a plan to use biometrics at airports. The research echoes a recent study from airline IT specialist SITA that found 70% of airlines expect to have biometric identity management in place by 2026, and 90% of airports are investing in major programs in this area.

Amadeus recently acquired biometrics specialist Vision-Box.

More than two-thirds of travel industry decision makers expect technology investment to increase in 2024 compared with 2023. Airports are expected to increase spend by 17% while investment in the travel payments area is expected to increase by around 12%. Hotels and airlines are expected to increase technology spend by 14% and 13%, respectively.

The Amadeus report also found respondents said greater use of technology can drive more revenue. Airlines indicated that a switch to modern retailing could drive an 18% increase in revenue, while hotels estimate personalization strategies could result in a 5% growth in incremental revenue.

“Hoteliers, airlines and the whole sector are right to be ambitious about the next generation of technology that we are building together,” said Francisco Pérez-Lozao Rüter, president of hospitality at Amadeus.

“Travel providers can see huge potential for a better customer experience as well as significant growth and control if they get their investment strategies right now. We can see clear ambition and commitment to evolution from this research and are excited to be at the forefront of this journey with our customers.”

While machine learning, data analytics and digital payments are seen as the most important technologies to businesses this year, by the year 2029 respondents said they believe machine learning, generative artificial intelligence and cloud computing will be the most important.

During a media event, Amadeus also provided an update on some of the ways it is piloting newer technologies such as its Triportation initiatives that provide digital twins so consumers and industry players can experience elements of travel before a purchase.

The company also said it is working on an “inspiration plug-in” to help online travel agencies inspire travelers on where to go, what flights to take and what to do. 

Technology investment has been increasing in recent years. Amadeus itself increased research and development investment almost 13% to €1.1 billion in 2023, and there is a wider feeling in the industry that technical debt needs to be addressed now.

The Amadeus research, conducted online by Opinium, was based on responses from more than 1,250 travel industry decision makers.

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