At World Travel Market this year, I ran a Summit called Future Digital Thinking. I split this into 2 two hour sessions, the first focusing on the hospitality sector and the second on innovative start-ups. I will write a future blog post on the latter but, for now, I would like to talk about hotels and their opportunity to adopt advanced digital technology.
It wasn’t the best of times, it was the worst of times, it wasn’t the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it wasn’t the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity …. So wrote Charles Dickens (or something very similar).
A recent study by Carlson Wagonlit Travel has discovered that business travellers tend to take four technology devices with them on trips. The survey of more than 1,900 business travellers found that, on average, they carry four different types of technology (mobile phone, tablet, laptop, etc.), with the smartphone being the one “travel tool they can’t live without.”
In the last month I was invited by an airline to contribute to a strategy day, an away day for their senior executives to ponder the bigger picture and how they might take their airline forward in the next few years. A few external experts such as me had been invited along to the strategy day. Our purpose was to provide some food for thought to catalyse discussion amongst the executives present.
Just when we were getting used to the Data Protection Act 1998, along comes its replacement, the General Data Protection Regulation. It is designed to harmonise data privacy laws across Europe, to protect and empower all EU citizens’ data privacy and to reshape the way organisations across the region approach data privacy.
There are plenty of opinions to be heard about the tech problems that British Airways suffered and the way the downtime was handled. It surely has to rank as one of the worst public relations disasters in the airline’s history.
A couple of weeks ago I was moderating this year’s Eyefortravel Europe conference. There was a mammoth line-up of speakers covering all the important topics of the day. We talked about mobile, personalisation, data, artificial intelligence, disruption and so on. It was a really absorbing event with lots to learn.
In the heady young days of the Internet, we were making predictions about how the web would change the face of travel. A popular prediction amongst ‘thought leaders’ was that the web would catalyse the death of the travel agent. Quite a few did die but quite a few remained. Another sector of the industry was also predicted to undergo a transformation. This was tourism.
In the news this week is the new exhibition starting at the London Science Museum this month. It is called Robots. It will explore humanity’s 500-year quest to recreate ourselves in mechanised form. On display will be a unique collection of over 100 robots, from a 16th-century mechanical monk to the most up to date walking, talking humanoid robots.