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Amadeus unveils innovation initiatives

Blockchain image

Amadeus has unveiled several ways in which it is investing in and promoting innovation in the travel industry through a series of initiatives, including a major investigation into how blockchain technology can apply to travel.

During a presentation held last night (October 17) in London, the company spoke about a new white paper about the ways in which blockchain can be applied to various aspects of travel. The report, entitled Blockchain: harnessing its potential in travel, identifies four key areas Amadeus is exploring for this technology – simplified and more secure passenger identification, improved baggage tracking, more user-friendly loyalty schemes and simplified payments between travel agencies and airlines.

The paper features contributions from blockchain start-ups Civic and Loyyal and was created through a series of interviews and research. It points out that although the technology is still in its early stages of development, but Amadeus believes it has the potential to change the way the travel industry “exchanges value” digitally.

Katherine Grass, head of innovation and ventures at Amadeus, said: “This paper is designed to help shine a light on the many different areas of the travel industry where blockchain is beginning to have an impact, in addition to providing a window into the wider development of the blockchain industry itself. We hope this paper contributes to a greater understanding of blockchain’s potential and helps inspire the industry-wide collaboration necessary to bring these business cases to life.”

Amadeus also officially announced a new innovation approach to celebrate its 30th anniversary. The company has identified six core themes it believes have the most potential to transform the travel industry. As well as blockchain, these include extended content, improved conversion, messaging platforms, operations and performance, and disruptive forces.

As part of its approach to transforming the industry, Amadeus has launched the new Innovation Partnership Programme, which will support the growth of external companies working across these six themes to help them pilot their ideas and bring them to market faster if they’re successful. So far, the firm has screened more than 1,300 start-ups and invested in nine of them and started more than 20 joint ventures. Some of the partnerships already under way with Amadeus include Bookingpal, Flyr, Avuxi, Stubhub and Civic, among others.

Alex Luzarraga, vice president of corporate strategy at Amadeus, said: “Through our Innovation Partnership Programme we are bringing together people who think differently but who can act together with curiosity and conviction – this is key to unlocking the potential of new ideas.”

As part of the presentation, Amadeus ran demonstrations of some of the technology already coming out of the new innovation strategy, including an interactive virtual reality search and booking experience and an explanation of how artificial intelligence can be applied to the travel industry. 

Download a full copy of the white paper at amadeus.com/blockchain-whitepaper.

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