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.
Once again, I have organised a couple of the technology/digital travel events at World Travel Market this year. I have been doing this for quite a few years. I am one of these people who are quite pedantic about keeping all my electronic files, so I was looking back to see what I had to say in some of my early presentations.