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Travel agents turn to robotics to drive efficiency, according to Amadeus research

Travel agents turn to robotics to drive efficiency, according to Amadeus research

Leisure travel agents (LTA) are turning to robotics to help them efficiently meet the evolving demands of today’s traveller.

According to new research from Amadeus – Travel Technology Investment Trends 2024 – released today, some 56 per cent of LTAs are planning to implement the technology to simplify manual processes in the future.

Today, 29 per cent have already done so to some extent.

LTAs currently estimate an average of 22 per cent of processes have been automated with robotics, while respondents plan to automate a further quarter, including Electronic Miscellaneous Document (EMD) issuance.

Further uses include queue management, synchronization of back-end operations, streamlining of business processes, enhanced quality checks of data entry and ensuring documents are issued before final deadlines.

According to the research, LTAs are planning to increase investment in technology by an average of 13 per cent in the coming twelve months.

At the same time, 87 per cent of LTAs will spend ‘the same or more’ on technology over the coming twelve months when compared to the previous year.

Elena Avila, executive vice president, travel distribution, Amadeus, said: “Leisure travel agents told our researchers they are looking to spend significantly more on technology this year, working to accelerate a process of evolution.

“The main drivers for this investment were delivering improved user service and experience, innovation, increasing profit margins and becoming more sustainable.

“So, a wide range of ambitions for the year ahead.”


Merchandising was revealed as another priority for spending.

Some 82 per cent of LTAs said it was either ‘important’ or ‘very important’ for them to effectively merchandise airline products.

By doing so they hoped to build stronger relationships with airline partners (cited 55 per cent of respondents), gain a mark-up and drive revenue from merchandising (49 per cent) and be a one-stop shop (48 per cent).

Avila added: “In 2024, LTAs are seeking better access to all types of air content as well as hotel, insurance and in-destination experiences.

“Amadeus can help. Our solutions combine content from all sources, all on the same screen. At the same time, LTAs are looking for efficiency.

“This can mean the adoption of automation tools to systemize routine tasks, self-service solutions for travellers or the wider adoption of API aggregation, all of which can help cut demand for time consuming manual processes.”

LTAs form a highly diverse segment, working across different countries to meet a variety of traveller needs, but several key themes emerge from the research.

Among other things, they are refocusing their tech stack to offer greater choice, better service and full end-to-end trip management capabilities.

Over the next 12 months, the following technology priorities were noted by leisure travel agents:

  • Enhance the customer experience – 53 per cent
  • Personalizing the offer – 39 per cent
  • Improve productivity – 38 per cent
  • Traffic acquisition – 34 per cent
  • Merchandising ancillary and upsell products – 30 per cent

Leisure travel agencies were also asked to choose the most important broad technologies for their businesses in the short- and medium-term from a shortlist of options, with data analytics, machine learning and digital payments topping the list of priorities in the coming year.

In the longer-term, self-service technology and cloud computing join the top five technologies anticipated to have the biggest potential impact. 

About the research

Travel Technology Investment Trends is designed to take a unique, panoramic view across the entire travel ecosystem, with findings presented in a series of eight reports – addressing sectors including hospitality, aviation, travel sellers and payments.

The work investigates the developments that will define the sector over the coming year and beyond.

This Travel Technology Investment Trends report was informed by a survey with 150 senior leaders from Leisure Travel Agents that are involved in technology investment decision-making.

The research was carried out in ten markets to provide a globally representative view. Respondents were drawn from the following markets: UK, France, Germany, UAE, USA, Mexico, Brazil, India, China and South Korea.

Find the full report here.