Inside Travel: Understanding the latest technology and industry trend insights

Find it hard to keep track with all the latest insights into business trends, new products and technology advancements in the travel sector? The Blue Swan Daily provides you with an update on some of the key stories from the past week.

  • Four in five Americans are willing to share biometric data to improve their traveller experience
  • Technology can improve travel experiences by reducing pain points and stressors along the journey, claims Expedia
  • The number of rooms in the final phase of the development pipeline in US rises +5.5% in Oct-2019
  • VLeisure partners with Travel Prologue to provide an open eco system with live room rates and inventory from global hotel groups
  • New resort app means travellers can explore before, during and after their stay on property

Four in five Americans are willing to share biometric data to improve their traveller experience
The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has revealed survey findings that show that eight out of ten Americans boarding domestic or international flights are willing to submit biometric data to enhance their travel experience. As part of WTTC’s work on the Seamless Traveller Journey (STJ), the organisation conducted the survey in order to further understand consumers’ willingness to share their electronic photograph with governments and travel companies, in advance of their international travel. It found 81% of Americans who travel internationally and 79% who travel domestically are willing to share biometric data in order to speed up their traveller journey. Similarly, it found eight in ten US travellers are willing to provide a photo to organisations that might require seeing a passport or photo ID in advance of travelling, with 25-34 year olds among the largest travelling group and most willing to share biometric data (87%).


Technology can improve travel experiences by reducing pain points and stressors along the journey, claims Expedia
Expedia Group and business strategy firm, Magid, have released the Online Travel Friction Index, which shows travellers want suppliers to offer a seamless travel experience, and to quickly and effectively handle any challenges during their travels. But, removing travel friction requires a deep understanding of customer pain points and Expedia Group’s Innovation Lab is currently testing new products, leveraging advanced technologies including artificial intelligence and machine learning, eye tracking and face reader technology to understand travellers’ focus on a web page and the emotions they experience while booking travel. The Online Travel Friction Index research identified key factors that reduce traveller friction. Results from this research identified the top five most impactful friction reduction attributes as: an easily navigable booking website, inventory that is the best value, ability to filter and sort a specific room type, option to redeem special offers and the ability to quickly filter and sort specific hotel location criteria.


The number of rooms in the final phase of the development pipeline in US rises +5.5% in Oct-2019
STR’s hotel pipeline data for the US showed 1,563 projects accounting for 205,299 rooms in construction as of Oct-2019. This represents a +5.5% year-over-year increase in the number of rooms in the final phase of the development pipeline. In absolute values, a majority of the country’s construction activity continues to be focused in the select-service segments with 63,428 rooms in the Upscale segment, 62,542 rooms in Upper Midscale and 27,875 rooms in Upper Upscale. Among major markets, six reported more than 5,000 rooms under construction between new construction, expansion, renovation and conversion projects. New York led with 13,801 rooms, which represented 10.9% of the market’s existing supply, followed by Las Vegas (9,259 rooms, 5.6% of existing supply), Orlando: 7,322 rooms (5.7%), Nashville: 6,770 rooms (14.5%) andLos Angeles/Long Beach: 6,111 rooms (5.8%).


VLeisure partners with Travel Prologue to provide an open eco system with live room rates and inventory from global hotel groups
Booking platform VLeisure has partnered with Travel Prologue, a leading B2B hotel direct booking service provider, to deliver live room rates and inventory to traditionally offline B2B channels like travel agencies, wholesalers and corporate travel intermediaries. With this partnership, VLeisure is able to provide an open ecology network to its customers, while leveraging on Travel Prologue’s hotel connectivity services and network of hotels such as Mandarin Orchard Singapore, Furama Hotels International and Berjaya Hotels & Resorts. VLesiure’s technology will deliver payment solutions and many more efficiency driven modules for wholesalers and agents.


New resort app means travellers can explore before, during and after their stay on property
The Divi & Tamarijn Aruba All Inclusives have launched a brand-new official app. Designed to enhance the guest experience by helping them get the most of out their visit before, during and after their stay on property, the new app is available on both the Apple App Store and Google Play for free download and installation. From booking breaks, events, functions or simply learning about the resort, the app has been designed to appeal to the inquisitive digital audience. The next stage will see smart room connections that will allow a user to control the lights in their guest room directly through the app.