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Biometric solutions for today's travel security problems

Cristian Morosan (Department of Management and Marketing, Cameron School of Business, University of St Thomas, Houston, Texas, USA)

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology

ISSN: 1757-9880

Article publication date: 28 September 2012




The purpose of this paper is to analyze the applicability of biometric systems in travel and explain how they can be used in response to today's increasing security problems.


This research is conceptual. Its analysis is based on an extensive review of literature on biometric systems.


Biometric systems can improve travel security without compromising consumer value, convenience, and privacy. Deployment of various applications of biometric systems (i.e. immigration/visitor management systems, trusted traveler programs) improve specific aspects of travel security. Biometric systems present challenges, associated with consumers' perceptions of system functionality, privacy, trust, and anxiety, which must be examined in the context of consumer adoption. To achieve synergy in travel information technology and provide benefits to all stakeholders, biometric systems must seamlessly integrate with other travel technologies, both intra‐firm and inter‐firm.

Research limitations/implications

This research provides a domain statement for biometric systems in travel and stays at the foundation of a methodical approach for the study of biometric systems in travel. It offers a conceptual framework that asserts that an integrated deployment and adoption of biometric systems in travel can transform the current travel system into an ideal, more secure system. Further, this study formulates a number of propositions for further empirical examination of biometric systems in specific fields within travel.

Practical implications

This research provides specific suggestions to integrate biometric systems with the existing systems to achieve synergies and derive benefits for travel stakeholders.

Social implications

Addressing the security‐privacy relationship, biometric systems have social implications. Travelers' concerns about privacy, fear of harm, trust, and anxiety are found to influence their view of biometric systems, with potential implications for adoption and use.


To date, there is scant academic research examining how biometric systems improve travel security. Thus, the position of this research is unique: it offers insight into a technology that is promising for both research and practitioners investigating the role of biometric systems in improving travel security and paves the way for a multitude of specific research directions.



Morosan, C. (2012), "Biometric solutions for today's travel security problems", Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology, Vol. 3 No. 3, pp. 176-195.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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