Final year tourism and hospitality students visited the Travel Technology Europe 2018 show at Olympia London. The show is one of the biggest and leading events for people who are involved in technology within the travel, tourism and hotel industries.
The visit provided ideas and inspiration to help students with their final year essay which focuses on digital commerce. There was also the opportunity to talk to those already working in the sector about possible future careers.
Lan Jin who studies on the International Hospitality Management BA(Hons) course reports on the trip:
“There were approximately 6,000 companies who had a stand at the event. These ranged from the large corporations to small individual operators and included IHG, Egencia and British Airways. We were able to attend presentations from senior managers’ with regards to the contemporary issues impacting the travel and hospitality sector; this included how technology is affecting travellers’ purchasing behaviour and how companies should react.
“The director of hotel supply company Egencia, Kevin Mauffrey commented: Technology is very important and there is significant benefit in investing in it. He mentioned that today, most company’s data is kept on a cloud platform, so it is critically important to invest to further develop it as well as to enhance its security system to protect the data.
“There were many industry’s leaders and professionals talking about and sharing their knowledge, concerns and the trends about the technology with each other. Some of the talks were very advanced and at times difficult to appreciate, however, it was very interesting and exciting to hear about the future of the sector.
“The conference showed us how important technology is for companies from their perspectives and how they strive to improve it for their business success. It was a really good experience and I would recommend everyone to attend if they get chance.”
Principal lecturer Adam Jones who accompanied the students, identified many changes that were happening within the sector at the show such as the use of virtual reality; this included its use to showcase the developments being made to the Club Class cabin by British Airways. The increasing important role of combing verbal communication with technology through developments such as Amazon’s Alexa or Apple Siri was also highlighted. Charles Cadbury, Chief Commercial Officer at Lola Tech commented “We very much believe that customers should have a trusted relationship with their travel provider and that a multi-modal conversational interface will deliver this.” Charles discusses the technology in this short interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZwvct7CYYw