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Embracing broadscale applications of biometric technologies in hospitality and tourism: Is the business ready?

Juline E. Mills (Hospitality and Tourism Management, College of Business, University of New Haven, West Haven, Connecticut, USA)
Matthew Meyers (Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS), Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA)
Sookeun Byun (School of Business, Kwangwoon University, Seoul, South Korea)

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology

ISSN: 1757-9880

Article publication date: 8 October 2010




The purpose of this paper is to review viable biometric technologies and examine their applicability in the hospitality and tourism businesses.


First, the different types of biometrics in the market with their advantages and disadvantages are reviewed, followed by a discussion of current applications within the hospitality and tourism sector.


Potential business impacts of biometrics are identified such as increased consumer convenience, operational efficiency, and security. Meanwhile, despite its great benefits, consumers' privacy concerns that are raised during biometric data collection and management processes may keep the technology from realizing its full potential.

Research limitations/implications

The paper only presents a glimpse of what may be done with the technology, as the potential extent of its usage is bound only by management's imagination while the possibilities that the technology brings to industry may be numerous.

Practical implications

Hospitality and tourism companies must have clear goals and logical approaches for usage and implementation of biometric technologies. They also need to be acutely aware of any privacy, guest perceptions, attitude towards, and trust factors that may surround the usage of biometric technologies. Moreover, corporate responsibility and ethical usage of the information obtained from biometrics may influence guest willingness to use the technology.


The paper has value in that there has been a lack of research on the impact of biometrics on the service industry, as well as user concerns towards the technology, rather than system development.



Mills, J.E., Meyers, M. and Byun, S. (2010), "Embracing broadscale applications of biometric technologies in hospitality and tourism: Is the business ready?", Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology, Vol. 1 No. 3, pp. 245-256.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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