In the last month I was invited by an airline to contribute to a strategy day, an away day for their senior executives to ponder the bigger picture and how they might take their airline forward in the next few years. A few external experts such as me had been invited along to the strategy day. Our purpose was to provide some food for thought to catalyse discussion amongst the executives present.
Just when we were getting used to the Data Protection Act 1998, along comes its replacement, the General Data Protection Regulation. It is designed to harmonise data privacy laws across Europe, to protect and empower all EU citizens’ data privacy and to reshape the way organisations across the region approach data privacy.
There are plenty of opinions to be heard about the tech problems that British Airways suffered and the way the downtime was handled. It surely has to rank as one of the worst public relations disasters in the airline’s history.
A couple of weeks ago I was moderating this year’s Eyefortravel Europe conference. There was a mammoth line-up of speakers covering all the important topics of the day. We talked about mobile, personalisation, data, artificial intelligence, disruption and so on. It was a really absorbing event with lots to learn.
In the heady young days of the Internet, we were making predictions about how the web would change the face of travel. A popular prediction amongst ‘thought leaders’ was that the web would catalyse the death of the travel agent. Quite a few did die but quite a few remained. Another sector of the industry was also predicted to undergo a transformation. This was tourism.
In the news this week is the new exhibition starting at the London Science Museum this month. It is called Robots. It will explore humanity’s 500-year quest to recreate ourselves in mechanised form. On display will be a unique collection of over 100 robots, from a 16th-century mechanical monk to the most up to date walking, talking humanoid robots.
I have helped many travel companies to buy new systems across the years. It is critically important to choose the system that best suits your operation. Choose the wrong system and you are almost guaranteed some serious business disruption.
I have frequently said that travel is no more than information at the point of sale. When a customer buys travel it is just information on a computer. It does not yet exist. Interestingly, the appeal of the product can grow or shrink depending on the date it will actually be consumed. A room night in Sydney with a view of the New Year’s Eve celebrations has far more appeal than the same room out of season in August.