The travel & tourism industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by a greater desire from consumers for personalised offerings that heighten the traveller experience. Delivering this requires the collection and effective use of large amounts of personal data, and this has significant cybersecurity implications. Technologies such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, the Internet of Things, and cloud solutions are all growing in importance. In the last three years alone, there have been over 15,000 patents filed and granted in the travel & tourism industry, according to GlobalData’s report on personalisation in Travel: Smart itinerary planners.

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 21,000 patents to analyse innovation intensity for the travel & tourism industry, there are 20+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Smart itinerary planners is a key innovation area in personalisation

Smart itinerary planners help travellers design and arrange their itineraries. They can help tourists identify and book entry to attractions and sites of interest, access information and reviews, and also find the best way to travel from one location to another. The benefit of smart planners is that they allow access on-the-go and with an internet connection, can help provide up-to-the minute information. This is particularly important with transport as there may be road closures or subway lines that are not running at a given time.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each smart itinerary planners and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 40+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established travel & tourism companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of smart itinerary planners.

Key players in smart itinerary planners – a disruptive innovation in the travel & tourism industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to smart itinerary planners

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Flex 115 Unlock company profile
Apple 71 Unlock company profile
BookIT Finland 44 Unlock company profile
Toyota Motor 40 Unlock company profile
Live Nation Entertainment 29 Unlock company profile
Alphabet 25 Unlock company profile
Crawford Group 23 Unlock company profile
Microsoft 22 Unlock company profile
Airbnb 20 Unlock company profile
General Motors 19 Unlock company profile
Liberty PlugIns 17 Unlock company profile
Getaround 16 Unlock company profile
CBRE Group 14 Unlock company profile
eBay 12 Unlock company profile
Samsung Group 12 Unlock company profile
International Business Machines 12 Unlock company profile
Geotab 11 Unlock company profile
Siemens 11 Unlock company profile
Dealerware 11 Unlock company profile
Guest-Tek Interactive Entertainment 10 Unlock company profile
Mitsubishi Electric 9 Unlock company profile
Fujifilm Holdings 8 Unlock company profile
Ford Motor 8 Unlock company profile
Alarmcom Holdings 8 Unlock company profile
Comcast 7 Unlock company profile
Oracle 7 Unlock company profile
Chatalyze 7 Unlock company profile
Daon 7 Unlock company profile
TESLA LABORATORIES 7 Unlock company profile
SoftBank Group 7 Unlock company profile
Strategic Mapping 6 Unlock company profile
Uber Technologies 6 Unlock company profile
OPTIMUM 6 Unlock company profile
Cambium Networks 6 Unlock company profile
Element 6 Unlock company profile
MC Familiengesellschaft mbH 6 Unlock company profile
Amadeus IT Group 5 Unlock company profile
Vulog 5 Unlock company profile
Bayerische Motoren Werke 5 Unlock company profile
Yikes 5 Unlock company profile
Huf Hulsbeck & Furst 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Specialist provider Amgine Technologies has filed for the most patents to protect innovations related to smart itinerary planners. This comes as no surprise given that Amgine has developed a digital automation platform for travel agencies that is designed to provide a better itinerary booking experience for travelers. One of the patents the company was granted in 2022 was for a method for translating user requests into itinerary solutions. This innovation parses itinerary requests to create an itinerary network associated with the itinerary request. The itinerary network may include at least two or more nodes and dependencies between two or more nodes. Tech giants Apple, Alphabet, and Microsoft are also active in this technology, but with the exception of Airbnb, tourism companies are conspicuous by their absence, meaning that this is likely to be an area in which vendors of this specialised solution can thrive.

To further understand the key personalisation and technologies disrupting the travel & tourism industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Personalization in Travel and Tourism (2020).

GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.