Biometric technology: the future of identity assurance and authentication in the lodging industry

Leonard A. Jackson (Rosen College of Hospitality Management, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida, USA)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Publication date: 2 October 2009



The purpose of the paper is to provoke thought and perhaps response to a new form of identity assurance and security in the lodging industry. For a fact, biometric technology is quickly becoming a principal method of identification in today's fast‐paced networked and security‐conscious society. Increasingly, more and more organizations are adopting this form of technology to enhance security, improve business processes and increase productivity. The paper highlights the fundamentals of biometric technology, and its application in the lodging industry. The paper also addresses factors that should be considered to ensure successful deployment in the lodging industry.


This paper reviews the fundamentals of biometric technology at the discursive level and provides insights on its practical applications in the lodging industry.


Biometric technology offers the lodging industry new possibilities in the areas of identity assurance and authentication. These relatively new technologies hold promise for practical implementation for both employee‐ and guest‐related processes. The major advantage to using this form of technology over other forms is that users do not have to carry anything around such as magnetic keycards, which can be lost, compromised or stolen. However, there are several legal, social and cost‐related challenges that must be overcome before the technology can be universally accepted and implemented in the industry.

Practical implications

The paper suggests that the use of biometric technology will continue to increase, and prudent hospitality executives should pay close attention to this trend so that they can adopt the technology into their operations and enjoy the benefits it offers. The paper provides insights about the technology and offers implementation guidelines for lodging technology officers. In addition, it is hoped that this paper will generate future research in the areas of adoption strategies and appropriate types of biometric technologies that are appropriate for lodging operations.


Both practitioners and educators will benefit from the information presented in this paper, as it provides insights about a relatively new form of technology. Further, the paper reviews the fundamentals of biometric technologies at the discursive level with the intent of generating future research on their application in the lodging industry.



Jackson, L. (2009), "Biometric technology: the future of identity assurance and authentication in the lodging industry", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 21 No. 7, pp. 892-905.

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Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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