Travel Technology Europe (TTE), a free-to-attend event, which the organisers claim is the biggest of its kind in Europe, takes place in London’s Olympia on February 21-22.
Travel sellers, no matter their size, will have technology on their radars as we take the first steps into 2018 – not least because of the swathes of new regulations coming into play that stand to define the way they do business.
With General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) kicking in on May 28, tackling data will be the hot topic at the show, which celebrates its 15th anniversary this year.
Payment platforms will also come to the fore, following this month’s implementation of PSD2 (Second Payment Services Directive) – the card surcharge ban aims to protect consumers by prohibiting merchants from charging consumers additional fees for making payments by card, direct debit or credit transfer.
Artificial intelligence (AI), chatbots, risk management, in-room technology, mobile apps and distribution models will also be covered across a conference programme that is split into four streams: marketing technology, travel technology, hotel technology and innovate.
Over the two days there will also be more than 100 speakers across various sessions. As AI becomes increasingly debated across a wide range of sectors, delegates can hear the travel perspective from Scott Crawford, vice-president of product management and experience, Expedia, on the first day of the show. The “AI & the future of the travel experience” session takes place from 12.30-1.10pm and will explore best practice examples of what AI means for loyalty, and why the “solutions are only as good as your data capabilities”.
Farina Azam, partner at Travlaw, will also share her legal viewpoint on GDPR the same day at 3.30pm, and discuss how the regulation will change the rulebook on how travel firms collect, manage and store personal data.
Meanwhile, the CTO Question Time headlines day two – February 22 – from 10-11am. Charlotte Lamp Davies, vice president, travel and hospitality, DataArt, will moderate a panel that includes Rajat Dhawan, chief technology officer at Contiki Holidays, and discuss the topics that are “keeping technology experts awake at night”, covering digital transformation, cybersecurity
As usual, TTE will focus on start-ups and entrepreneurs via a range of platforms for the next generation of travel technology firms. A brand new session, dubbed “Innovation 20:18”, will search for the “industry visionaries of the future”.
Innovation 20:18 will give five people the opportunity to present 20 slides on stage on a thought leadership topic. After 18 seconds each slide will automatically move on, meaning the presenter must work against the clock to get their message across. The audience will then vote for their favourite presentation.
Following its premiere in 2016, Launchpad returns with 15 young businesses showcasing their innovative products and services. It offers travel companies the opportunity to be among the first to discover new and disruptive technologies. Advice clinics also make a return, giving visitors the chance to book a limited number of free 20-minute one-to-one advice clinics with industry experts at the show.
And in addition to the clinics, there will be a number of “Tech Huddles” for visitors to join. These are group discussions of up to a dozen visitors on a specific topic, with a view to share ideas and learn from each other. Go to traveltechnologyeurope.com to find out how to book
As well as getting the lowdown on the newest technology trends, delegates should not forget that TTE also includes entry to the Business Travel Show.
TTG is a media partner of the event. Register now at traveltechnologyeurope.com
How can delegates get the most out of the event?
Samantha Markham, digital marketing manager, Hong Kong Tourism Board:
Plan ahead – download the app, scan the floorplan, find the suppliers you want to learn more from and sift through the seminar programme to work out where you want to be and when. It’s a wasted day if you turn up to just meander around.
What areas of disruption lie ahead in travel?
Matthew Chapman, chief technology officer, Vibe:
There are many exciting areas in technology and someone clever always finds a way to apply them to travel. Electric driverless cars will mature in the coming years, reducing the need to own a vehicle and potentially throwing the transfer, car hire and airport parking markets into disarray.
What are the most exciting opportunities in travel technology right now?
Renee Tsielepi, consultant, Transcendence Ltd:
There are exciting opportunities in the augmented reality, internet of things and voice arenas. We already see BA’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner featuring the new head-up displays in the flight deck with primary information projected onto a transparent glass screen. Imagine getting information while travelling not just at your fingertips any longer, but on your eye view whenever you want it, and coupled with voice – how the world will change. Imagine having an “Alexa” with you showing you things, booking your restaurants, ordering your car and helping you wherever