The upcoming General Data Protection Regulation looms large for the travel industry.
According to a survey of travel and hotel technology buyers, compiled by Travel Technology Europe (TTE), compliance with the new data regulation will be the biggest technical challenge of 2018.
A third of buyers said they were unsure about GDPR technology and strategy. With the deadline for compliance approaching in May, 3 in 10 technology buyers (29%) admitted they were still unsure or not feeling confident that they had the right technology and strategy in place. However, 71% were confident or very confident that they were on track to comply with the new regulations.
"GDPR is undoubtedly a challenge and while some buyers are unsure of their strategy, there is still time to get it right"
The second biggest challenge was New Distribution Capability integration – Iata’s new standard that aims to simplify airline retailing.
Meanwhile, TTE’s research found that when it comes to prioritising spend on new technologies, buyers will be looking to improve the customer experience in 2018, with content marketing, payments and guest-facing experiences set to be the top three areas of new expenditure for 2018.
Buyers were also quizzed on bitcoin – 5% said they had already invested in cryptocurrency, 24% said they were considering investing in technologies to support the cryptocurrency in the next five years, but 61% said they currently had no plans to invest whatsoever.
David Chapple, event director, TTE, said: “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.
"Buyers were also quizzed on bitcoin... 61% said they currently had no plans to invest whatsoever"
“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 TTE with sessions and advice clinics available for anyone who wants to discuss or be reassured about their strategy.”
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