Category Archives: Travel

Travel and Tourism Kiosks – 4 Ways Digital Kiosks Are Simplifying

As the seasons change, the weather gets warmer, and the school year comes to a close yet again, another vacation season is just around the corner. And according to a recent travel survey by AAA, nearly 100 million Americans are planning to participate this year.

The travel and tourism industry, which brought in more than $100 billion in the U.S. alone during the summer of 2017, continues to grow and flourish as Americans continue to make vacationing a priority. However, as the industry and the influx of travelers continues to grow, so does the demand for assistance, information, and other services during their stay—making the need for self-service solutions greater than ever before.

Designed with simplification in mind, self-service digital kiosks can help provide travelers with the information and services they need to allow them to enjoy their hard earned time away. After all, that’s what vacationing is all about, right?

Here are four ways digital kiosks are doing just that:

Car Rental

While not all vacations require a flight, for those that do, travelers’ first stop after they land at their destination is typically at the car rental counter. Designed to reduce long wait times and help kickstart vacations on a positive note, car rental kiosks allow drivers to check-in, select, pay for, and upgrade their rental car selection—all from the kiosk. Drivers receive a printed receipt to take to the counter to retrieve their keys, and then they’re directed to go pick up their car—it’s quick and easy.

Check-In

As the next logical step, travelers typically stop by their hotel to unload their luggage and get settled in. Similarly to the car rental check-in process, travelers can use hotel check-in kiosks to check-in and pay for their room and also retrieve their room key card. The check-in process can be completely unattended, allowing travelers to quickly check-in no matter if they arrive during the busiest time of the day or late into the evening. While check-in kiosks certainly simplify the hotel check-in process, they can also indirectly improve customer service. Employees who were typically tasked with handling check-in can be made more readily available to answer questions and provide assistance as it is needed.

Interactive Digital Signage & Wayfinding

Once travel and arrival logistics are taken care of, vacation can officially begin! However, whether it’s a traveler’s first or fifteenth time visiting a destination, there’s always something new to discover. From shops and restaurants to attractions, tours, and events, interactive digital signage and wayfinding kiosks can help travelers plan their days. With different categories, interactive information, map integrations, calling features, and print-on-demand capabilities, they can help users navigate their destination while also encouraging them to explore the surrounding area.

Visitor Feedback

While the conclusion of a vacation is often the hardest part of the trip for travelers, it’s also an opportunity to reflect back on their experience and to think about what they enjoyed and what they would have changed. Digital kiosks, placed in a hotel lobby or other central location provide a platform on which visitors can respond to surveys, and leave feedback, prior to making their departure. They aren’t limited to use in hotels, though. Restaurants, tours, and attractions of all kinds can implement visitor survey kiosks to help them make improvements and ensure that their visitors are having positive experiences.

From the first steps off the plane or out of the car, to the last steps out of the hotel, self-service kiosks are simplifying different aspects of the travel and tourism industry all across the board.

To learn more about Meridian’s travel and tourism-focused kiosks, visit www.meridiankiosks.com.

Tampa International Airport – Automated Passport Kiosk Video

This is “Tampa International Airport – Automated Passport Kiosk Video” by on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them.

Source: vimeo.com

Nice video of Passport Control Kiosk operation. Kiosk by YVR Vancouver.  Live video starts after 55 sec into after animation sequence.

Wayfinding, Travel & Tourism Kiosks

Wayfinding kiosk for travel and tourism expand the offerings of a destination or improve the experience of getting there, a win for both travelers and the places they visit.

Source: meridiankiosks.com

wayfinding kiosk travel and tourismMeridian update on wayfinding kiosk for travel and tourism.

 

Wayfinding Kiosk Benefits & ROI

  • Improve service by increasing the productivity of front-line staff
  • Increase revenue and visitor numbers
  • Educate visitors about area attractions by providing virtual tour guides
  • Offer way-finding maps, directions and advice for visitors
  • Allow visitors to purchase tickets for attractions or transportation tokens
  • Increase revenue through advertising sales
  • 24/7 Service

Overview

Our line-up of travel and tourism kiosks will allow you to expand your reach without adding staff or facilities. In fact, you can create a virtual visitor’s bureau location anywhere. Whether it is the airport, rest stop, convention center or a local park, meridian’s self-service solutions can help you create exciting interactive tools for your visitor’s use.

Our kiosks can streamline the check-in process and significantly reduce long lines at airports, train stations or car hire outlets. Allow our self-service solutions to take the strain, and enable your front-line staff to meet the ever-increasing demands upon them.

Mzero Software can integrate mobile devices through QR codes, offer way finding services, display and distribute coupons for local attractions, incorporate VoIP phones for visitors to contact advertisers and provide ADA compliant features such as interactive text-to-voice response.

Kiosk Whitepaper – Increasing Border Security with Automation

INCREASING BORDER SECURITY WITH AUTOMATION

Published on 31 December 2014 08:12 by Sean Farrell

At the end of October, Acuity Market Intelligence reported that automated border control kiosks were expanding across North America and the Caribbean with a total of 25 airports now offering the service. The analyst reports that global market for kiosks will reach 8,000 by 2018. It isn’t just the Americas that are turning to automation, e-gates and kiosks are being used and deployed worldwide, including Australia,Singapore, Germany and the UK.

Sean Farrell, Portfolio Director, Government Solution Line, SITAWhy is automation proving so popular? Simply put, the technology is mature enough and radically improves border efficiency and throughput. Acuity Market Intelligence estimates that the kiosks in the US have “decreased international arrival and preclearance border control wait times by as much as 80%.”

Increasing passenger numbers mean that border agencies need to take action. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) predicts that international passenger numbers will grow by a quarter from 1.2 billion in 2012 to 1.5 billion in 2017. Existing manual border controls already struggle to process today’s volume of passengers and future increases threaten to stress already overloaded processes and systems to breaking point.

The challenge for the border security agency is to identify everybody who is not authorized to enter the country among the millions of legitimate travelers. Border agencies need intelligence to identify these high risk travelers efficiently, accurately and without disrupting the immigration experience for the majority.

Case for automation

Automated border gates and kiosks remove the need for a border guard to manually check the travel document and identity for each and every traveler. Qualified border agents can then be redeployed to focus their attention on potential high-risk travelers, thereby improving efficiency and security.

Success in automated border control relies on the wide use of e-passports and the accuracy of biometric verification.  Now over 100 countries have implemented e-passports, representing around 60% of all passports in circulation in 2012. Biometric matching technology, particularly for facial recognition, has also improved dramatically in recent years.

Not binary choice

There are a number of factors that border agencies must consider to ensure a successful automated border control deployment. These include selecting the right system, choosing where and how to deploy it, educating staff and passengers on how best to use it and re-configuring port operations to maximize the potential benefits.

It isn’t a binary choice between manual and automated processing. It is all about finding the right efficiencies and trade-off between the two. The balance depends on a number of criteria, such as the security requirements, types of threat faced, traveler demographics, infrastructure constraints, and the availability of travel documents, such as e-passports with biometrics.

Link to Whitepaper article on SITA website

SITA-border-automation-positioning paper-reduced

Chris Gilliland with YVR on Passport Kiosks

Passport kiosks APC

and more

Self-service Industry Group (Selfservice.io) was fortunate to get some time with Christopher Gilliland who is the manager of Innovative Travel Solutions at Vancouver Airport Authority.

Christopher Gilliland
Christopher Gilliland

YVR has been the leading automated passport kiosk deployer for many years. For that matter airport terminals  have been the domain of Canada for many many years. Why that is, is a mystery but it is a fact. Some of the early original airline check-in kiosks were designed and implemented by Wilf Medweth of IBM Toronto Markham (and of  there is SITA…). I personally worked on the Northwest Airlines check-in kiosk (built by NWA) which we tested originally in the food commissary of  Ford Motor in Detroit.

Airlines terminals and ATMs and Photo Kiosks (Kodak) were the Big Three to kick off Self-Service and the american consumer.

Airports are an unique deployment zone.  The domestic travel channel is one thread and then you have international (from US perspective) and that is divided into incoming and outgoing.  Those points also are focus points for the US government in several ways. Department of Homeland Security and Immigration control are involved. Flying thru Ft. Smith Arkansas versus New York versus London versus Schipol versus Dubai versus Abuja in Nigeria gives you some appreciation for the range of airport services.

One concern we have had is the ADA design and how these passport kiosks measure up to U.S. Access Board ADA standards. Currently we have 5 designs including DFW, IAH and SITA.  Canada seems to be adopting more of the US ADA regulations but not all.

Meanwhile the market for passport kiosks like these has been growing leaps and bounds. Maxine Most with Acuity:

According to Acuity’s latest count, there are 737 operational APC kiosks in North America with another 164 targeted to go live by Spring 2015. This is up from just 280 In February 2014 and will bring the total number of APC Kiosks located in the United States, Canada, and now in the Caribbean, to 901 by early next year.

yvr-map
Map of current deployments by YVR

Acuity expects APC Kiosk numbers to continue to grow rapidly as they migrate across the Americas to Europe, Asia, and the Middle East conservatively projecting the global market for APC Kiosks will reach 8,000 by 2018.

The Vancouver Airport Authority, the original developer of APC Kiosks, leads the market with deployments at 17 airports representing more than 60% of total kiosk market share. SITA is a distant second with 126 APC Kiosks installed at five airports.

For more details, check out Acuity’s latest research publication, the“APC Kiosk Deployment List”.

 

Onto the interview with Christopher of YVR.

 

SELFSERVICE.IO:  CBP Process — so the only interaction with customs personnel is to show the receipt?  (that’s nice).

CHRISTOPHER: Yes, the program encompasses a two-step process:  kiosk input by the traveller and verification of documents by an officer.   By having travellers complete the administrative function themselves, the entire process is quicker and more efficient.  Wait times are reduced up to 50%; and the technology allows the officers to do what they do best—perform the final, in-person identity verification.


SELFSERVICE.IO:  When & where was the first kiosk installed?

CHRISTOPHER:  Vancouver Airport Authority (YVR) introduced to the industry the world’s first no registration, no fee and no chip-enabled passport required self-service border control solution that could be used by virtually any government and airport in the world.  Our application for Canada Border Services Agency, named Automated Border Control, was launched in Vancouver in 2008 and our second application for US Customs and Border Protection, named Automated Passport Control, was launched in Vancouver in 2013.


SELFSERVICE.IO:  And now — You essentially have 520 kiosks now in 17 airports?

CHRISTOPHER: By the end of the year, we will be operating in 19 airports with over 500 kiosks.


SELFSERVICE.IO:  SITA is nearest competitor with 5 airports, GCR in IAH, Dedo in DFW — right?

CHRISTOPHER:  Yes, SITA is a distant second, and other competitors, including GCR, Dedo, and IBM, are in just 2 airports each.


 

SELFSERVICE.IO:  Fair to say the benefits to the travelers is an average of 50% reduced wait time?

CHRISTOPHER:  Studies at Vancouver International Airport and Chicago-O’Hare  provided the following results for our Automated Passport Control solution:

yvr-4x
4X the number of passengers processed per U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer

4X the number of passengers processed per U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer

With traditional methods, a U.S. CBP officer can only process approximately 41 passengers per hour. With APC, CBP officers can process 162 passengers per hour.

yvr-89
89% less time spent through the entire primary process per eligible passenger

89% less time spent through the entire primary process per eligible passenger

With traditional methods, it takes approximately 37 minutes to complete the customs process. With APC, that time is slashed to approximately four minutes..

yvr-58
58% reduction of space required per peak hour passenger.

58% reduction of space required per peak hour passenger.

With APC, each passenger in peak hours uses just 5.8 square feet of space, compared to 13.8 square feet in a traditional queuing-only format.

yvr-33
33% less time spent in a queue for all passengers (APC and non-APC)

33% less time spent in a queue for all passengers (APC and non-APC)

With traditional methods, it takes approximately 50 minutes to complete the customs process. With APC, that time is reduced to approximately 33 minutes for all passengers, whether they use APC or not.


SELFSERVICE.IO:  One of the advantages you point to is your fully hosted solution and speed of deployment. Can you talk about that?

CHRISTOPHER: For our Automated Passport Control solution, we manage all of the communications with US Customs and Border Protection through established and secured networks.  This means that airports can be up-and-running faster than using any of our competitors. Unlike all of our competitors, YVR’s solution does not require special IP addresses to be issued by US CBP for each site deployed. We host the solution and have IP addresses already established with CBP.

This arrangement saves our customers a minimum of 8 weeks for implementation. Our quickest installation time, from contract signing to going live, was 16 days in Seattle!


yvr-basic
Standard or basic BorderXpress

SELFSERVICE.IO:  For models — you have a Standard Kiosk, and you also have a Premium Kiosk. Why two models?

CHRISTOPHER:  We offer two models, both fully ADA complaint , both capable of providing service in up to 26 languages, and both minimize the use of moving parts which increases reliability and reduces electrical consumption.  We initially launched with the Premium model but soonyvr-premium after introduced a Standard, “slim line” model that requires less floor space which is ideal for airports with smaller customs facilities.


SELFSERVICE.IO:  Can the process be quicker and easier using smartphones?

CHRISTOPHER:  We believe that quick and efficient border control is best managed by offering a variety of different processes ranging from traditional inspections to trusted traveller (registered)   programs to our self-service technology which is designed to process every traveller – not just a select few.

I believe a mobile version of Automated Passport Control technology (MPC) compliments the kiosk application nicely.  We are working with the developer of MPC, Airside Mobile, to offer our customers access to a BorderXpress-branded version in early 2015.


SELFSERVICE.IO:   Where do you see BorderXpress 2 years from now?

CHRISTOPHER:  With the success of developing self-service border control applications for two governments, Canada and the United States, we are now in the market offering airlines and airports around the world access to a solution that can be configured to meet the language and admission requirements of any jurisdiction.   With global travel on the rise amidst increasingly limited resource budgets, we see huge potential for our newest border solutions.

SELFSERVICE.IO:    Thanks Christopher for taking time.

Reference spec sheets:


UPDATE:

This was a good opportunity to check with C. Maxine Most of Acuity Market Intelligence as well as the new Director of Marketing with SITA AERO.   Maxine is the expert analyst for the market.

Numbers are a moving target for sure but as of 11/27/2014 it is safe to say that overall there are 801 units installed with 164 planned.  The last numbers from SITA, for APCs specifically, are  7 airports and 190 units. SITA provides several different self-service models used inside airports, not just APCs.

For more research contact C. Maxine Most, Principal with Acuity Market Intelligence.  Tel: 303-449-1897, cmaxmost at acuity-mi.com


 

Update Dec 11 from Acuity

Nearly 1650 Automated Border Control (ABC) eGates Deployed Globally

Dear Craig,

Acuity’s latest research release, the Automated Border Control (ABC) eGates Deployment List , is now available for purchase at the Acuity website.

According to Acuity’s December 2014 count, there are 1644 operational ABC eGates worldwide. Nearly 50% of the total number of eGates deployed at all airports, seaports and land borders are in Asia. However, Europe leads in airport deployments with nearly 40% of global units.

Acuity expects ABC eGate numbers to continue to grow as they move from pilot and initial deployment phases to full scale roll out as is now taking place in both the United Kingdom and Germany. While eGates will increasingly be used at land borders and seaports, today these border control points represent just 4.7% and 22% respectively, of all eGate units deployed.

Automated Border Control (ABC) eGates Deployment List$2,495

Spreadsheet provides details on each eGate deployment including number of eGates, the location of eGates, installation date, vendors, what type of biometrics are used, what tokens, if any, are required, who qualifies, is registration required, etc., as well as regional and vendor market share information. Preview the spreadsheet headersand buy the deployment list.

Additional insight into the ABC marketplace:

$ 995Automated Passport Control (APC) Kiosk Deployment List
This list — also presented in spreadsheet format — provides details for each known APC deployment including the number of kiosks, locations, installation date, vendors, costs, etc., as well as current and planned vendor market share information. Preview thespreadsheet headers and buy the deployment list.
$5,000: Single User
$6,000: 2 to 10 Users
$7,000: Enterprise
The Global Automated Border Control Industry Report: Airport eGates and Kiosks
Comprehensive view of the global market for airport-based Automated Border Control eGates and kiosks. Download a preview and purchase the report.

SAVE When You BUY More Than One!

$3,000SAVE $ 490Purchase the Automated Border Control (ABC) eGates Deployment Listand theAutomated Passport Control (APC) Kiosk Deployment ListTOGETHER.
$1,490SAVE $2,000Add both the Automated Border Control (ABC) eGates Deployment Listand theAutomated Passport Control (APC) Kiosk Deployment Listto a PURCHASE of any license forThe Global Automated Border Control Industry Report: Airport eGates and Kiosks

Please contact me directly at [email protected] or at +1 720 530 5836 to take advantage of this special offer.

APCs expand in North America and the Caribbean

In the past week, Denver International Airport, Lynden Pindling International Airport in The Bahamas, and Queen Beatrix International Airport in Aruba have all announced they will join the ranks of the 25 North American airports currently offering expedited border control processing to international travelers via Automated Passport Control (APC) Kiosks.

YVR’s BorderXpress Automated Passport Control (APC) system allows eligible travelers to clear US Customs and Border Protection formalities quickly, securely and without preregistration. Our solution reduces wait times by up to 50% and significantly improves the international arrival experience.
YVR’s BorderXpress Automated Passport Control (APC) system allows eligible travelers to clear US Customs and Border Protection formalities quickly, securely and without preregistration. Our solution reduces wait times by up to 50% and significantly improves the international arrival experience.

According to Acuity’s latest count, there are 737 operational APC kiosks in North America with another 164 targeted to go live by Spring 2015. This is up from just 280 In February 2014 and will bring the total number of APC Kiosks located in the United States, Canada, and now in the Caribbean, to 901 by early next year.

Acuity expects APC Kiosk numbers to continue to grow rapidly as they migrate across the Americas to Europe, Asia, and the Middle East conservatively projecting the global market for APC Kiosks will reach 8,000 by 2018.

The Vancouver Airport Authority, the original developer of APC Kiosks, leads the market with deployments at 17 airports representing more than 60% of total kiosk market share. SITA is a distant second with 126 APC Kiosks installed at five airports.

For more details, check out Acuity’s latest research publication, the “APC Kiosk Deployment List”. This list — presented in spreadsheet format — provides details for each known deployment including the number of kiosks, locations, installation date, vendors, costs, etc., as well as vendor market share information.

And of course, for a more comprehensive view of all airport based Automated Border Control, download a preview and purchase “The Global Automated Border Control Industry Report: Airport eGates and Kiosks“.

Other participants include DFW and Houston.

Kiosk Manufacturer Self-Service