Travel behavior has changed completely because of covid-19. Although there is a huge demand for travelling, visitors are also concerned by social distance and hygiene restrictions. Therefore, technology and innovations to minimize touch points will be factors to promote tourism again.

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An international study from Amadeus reveals the innovations that will make people feel safe to travel over the next 12 months. More than 6,000 travelers across France, Germany, India, Singapore, the UK and the US were surveyed to learn more about travelers’ main concerns, and which types of technology would help travelers feel safe enough to travel. The results also show how the travel industry and governments can work to rebuild traveler confidence following Covid-19.

The study found that, for four in five travelers (84%), technology would increase their confidence to travel in the next 12 months by addressing their concerns about mixing with crowds, social distancing and physical touch points. Meanwhile, 42% felt mobile apps giving notifications about local outbreaks and changes to government guidance during their trip would help. A further 42% said contactless and mobile payment options – such as Google Pay, Paypal and Venmo – were key.

Another 34% of travelers expressed that biometrics – such as facial or voice recognition – at airport check in, security and boarding, reducing the need for physical checks – would make them more likely to travel. Finally, 33% of respondents said they would like a universal digital traveler identification on their phone with all the necessary travel documents and immunity status, so that they only have to prove they are Covid-negative once.

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Generational and regional preferences for technology

The Amadeus study also highlights how travelers’ receptiveness and preferences for technology differ by country and age demographic, emphasising the needs for personalization to gain trust. For example, almost half (47%) of Boomers – those aged between 55 and 74 – said they would need to be able to socially or physically distance throughout the journey to feel comfortable travelling, compared to less than three in ten (27%) of Generation Z (16- to 24-year old).

More than half (52%) of respondents in Singapore chose contactless hotel experiences as a technology that would make them more likely to travel, while almost half of Indian travelers (47%) preferred mobile apps giving information about a destination’s Covid-19 safety measures.

For French travelers, automated cleaning tech (36%) and contactless payments by smartphone (34%) were the most popular of the suggested options. For 25% of UK travelers and 26% of US travelers, tech would be most valuable for reducing the need for physical documents. Meanwhile, three in ten German and UK travelers (30% each) said they’d like tech to minimize their contact with others.

Covid-security: priorities for travelers

The Amadeus survey identified five key things travelers would most like technology to do for their travel based on people’s responses:

1) Reduce queues and congestion in public spaces (38%)

2) Minimize face-to-face or physical contact with others (31%)

3) Protect financial data and personal information (31%)

4) Notify in advance when there is a delay (29%)

5) Ensure the accuracy and effectiveness of national test, track and trace programs (28%)

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Furthermore, the results highlighted five top recommendations for building traveler confidence again:

1) Provide access to flexible change, cancellations policies and payment terms to avoid losing money (39%)

2) Limit the number of passengers on a plane (38%)

3) An ability for travelers to socially or physically distance themselves throughout the journey (36%)

4) Having visibility to and assurance of sanitization, hygiene and safety measures in hotels and accommodations (36%)

5) Effective test, track and trace programs in place (34%)

“This research provides a source of optimism for the industry as many of the travelers’ concerns can be addressed by technology available now, at every stage of a traveler’s experience,” says Christophe Bousquet, chief technology officer for Amadeus. “Whether it is new mobile applications, biometrics or contactless solutions, we need to explore together as an industry and with governments how best to accelerate adoption if we are to encourage global travel, which is a major driver of global prosperity.” Stefan Ropers, president of Strategic Growth Businesses at Amadeus adds: “From finding suitable destinations to going through airports and paying for travel services, today’s travelers want reassurance that their journey will be stress-free, prioritizing safety and hygiene, as well as experiences that meet their needs. “This requires overcoming industry siloes to build a better experience by connecting the travel ecosystem, for example, via digital identity management, linking every step of the traveler journey.”

Source: Globetrender

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