Following its pilot program to use facial recognition to allow guests to check in at hotels in under 30 seconds in Hainan Province, Fliggy, the online travel agency owned by Alibaba Group, has introduced similar technology for ticketing at scenic spots in China.
Flippy introduced the facial recognition ticketing at Xixi National Wetland Park in Hangzhou on Friday, according to a report from SooToo. The 2,800-acre park is located near the more famous tourist destination West Lake.
The facial recognition program can reportedly be used for tickets purchased online or offline and will eliminate ticket scalping during peak tourist seasons. The company notes that it will improve efficiency and reduce the need for scenic spots to hire additional staff to manage crowds. It will also be able to set up interactive guides for visitors to navigate the park.
Xixi National Wetland Park is only the first step in Fliggy’s strategy as it plans to operate facial recognition ticketing at 1,000 scenic spots in China within three years.
Xu Xiang (徐翔), deputy general manager of Fliggy’s resort division, said that scenic spots will be able to monitor the program in real time and analyze the data on visitor flow and road conditions to better accommodate visitors to the parks and forecast patterns. The monitoring capabilities will also allow parks to conduct public opinion polls and issue emergency warnings. The technology will be integrated with other smart solutions to control street lights, monitor parking lots, and accept mobile payments.
Fliggy hopes to expand its operations to include area dining options as well as unstaffed retail outlets. The company already has plans to enter the local hotel sector as it did in Hainan Province.
While Fliggy’s hotel check-in process still requires guests to present an official government ID, there is no mention of whether the same is required for its ticketing endeavor. The scanned ID is in place to serve as a backup and manage flaws in the facial recognition system.