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Nearly a year into the pandemic, businesses have had no other choice but to adopt different technological innovations — whether they were ready for them or not. This is because digital transformation is the key to withstanding the abrupt changes brought about by the health crisis. The travel industry in general has not been slow to embrace the opportunities offered by digital innovations, but that doesn’t mean that more inspiration cannot be derived from other sectors.

Evolving app technology offer potential solution

With many countries closing borders and deploying strict quarantining methods, outbound pleasure travel remains impossible for the time being, but hope remains that with a rapidly vaccinated population in the UK by the summer that countries such as Greece will welcome British tourists to their shores. There has been much discussion about the merits of “vaccine passports”. Technology could be the enabler with an app which would hold such information in addition to the requisite negative Covid test 72 hours prior to travel. This could be a game changer.

The UK hospitality industry rapidly adopted app technology successfully in the summer of 2020, enabling customers to order drinks via apps from their tables in order to reduce movement inside pubs and restaurants. The same apps also captured customers details to ensure “track and trace” regulations were met.

Other apps sprang up in 2020 during lockdown showing which pubs in a local area were offering takeaway services including takeaway pints.

Blockchain can potentially open doors to travel

In recent years, more and more industries have begun adopting blockchain technology — and for good reason. Since the blockchain can be thought of as a digital ledger that is impossible to change or hack, it is being widely used to smartly store information and forward transparency.

Though it’s most often thought of in relation to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, there’s so much more to this technology than exchanging money. The legal sector, for one, has begun leveraging blockchain technology through smart contracts and blockchain-based corporate filings. While smart contracts can eliminate the need for legal teams and their corresponding fees, blockchain-based corporate filings can make it cheaper for organizations to incorporate.

Travel, too, has much to gain from this technology. For instance, it can help revive air travel by providing a way to protect travellers’ health data. The blockchain can also support the verification of e-health certificates and reduce the number of falsified test reports being used by desperate travellers and fraudulent companies.

Hire a specialist

Due to its innate complexity, making sense of technology and knowing how to best leverage its many functions can be an extremely difficult task. And with so many things banking on the successful use of technological advancements, it only makes sense for businesses to call in the experts when talking about digital and tech transformation.

The same approach can be very valuable in travel. As our very own Gail Kenny explained, experts like Clare Watson, senior advisor for technology recruitment, can work wonders in helping travel-related businesses further extend their expertise into the highly dynamic travel technology arena of today’s world. In addition to this, specialists can also guide organisations in delivering relevant tech solutions, building tech teams, and looking at challenges from a more innovative perspective.

As one of the industries that has been hit the hardest by the pandemic, it becomes even more necessary for the travel industry to look into the different ways other industries are using technologies to digitally transform and withstand the challenges the crisis has presented.

Written by Raffy Joyce

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