British Airways - receive information about your flight’s gate status, with notifications sent direct to your wrist when your gate status changes (available at London Heathrow Terminals 3 and 5 only). Marriott - access Marriott’s mobile app for check-in and checkout. Expedia - Check itineraries for upcoming trips.
Expedia has just purchased Travelocity from Sabre for $280 million in cash. This comes after Sabre’s recent sale of lastminute.com to Bravofly Rumbo for $120 million. Following the Travelocity deal, Sabre CEO and president, Tom Klein, said, “Our primary focus at Sabre is to provide mission-critical software solutions to our global airline, hospitality, and travel agency customers – and to help them support their customers every day.”
The major online travel agencies, Expedia and Priceline’s Booking.com, seem to have the travel market sewn up, sucking in customers like celestial black holes. Their large market shares are driven by mega-million dollar digital marketing budgets and superlative technology.
After 10 years plus, I am putting my hobby website, travelfromHere.com, up for sale. Take a look and you will see that it is a very straightforward directory of websites aimed at UK travellers. It is rather like Yahoo! was in its first incarnation.
I was chairing Travel Distribution Summit Europe 2014 the week before last. Over the two days, we covered a lot of very topical topics such as OTAs vs direct reservations, metasearch, mobile, social media and more. It was a very good conference with a high calibre of speakers from many different sectors of travel. However, it left me thinking that there is one area of travel that technology has yet to tackle well.
This is a tale about the storyfication of travel. Once upon a time there was an industry called Travel. It sold holidays to People. People were happy. Travel would tell People the facts about their holidays and then they would buy them. The facts were very useful in helping People choose the holiday that suited them best.
The world economy is projected to be about 80% larger in 2020 than it was in 2000. World total population will increase from 7 to 8.3 billion people in 2030. Asia, Africa, and Latin America will account for virtually all population growth over the next 20 years. The middle class is expected to reach 5 billion people by 2031, up from 2.1 billion people in 2011. The world is changing. At the Summit, Richard Lewis, CEO Best Western Hotels, distinguished between Digital Immigrants and Digital Natives.
I organised September’s Travel Technology Initiative conference. It was called Intermediary Futures and was all about what the next few years hold for travel industry players such as tour operators, online and high street travel agents, bedbanks, etc. You can download some of the speakers’ presentations from this page. Intermediaries are middle-men.
Last week I was chairing the Travel Technology Initiative’s Summer Forum – Take Flight! This was about latest developments in flight distribution. Speakers covered Google Flight, latest GDS developments and a presentation from Jerry Foran,, Head of Product Delivery, Revenue Management, British Airways, about IATA’s New Distribution Capability initiative (NDC). You can view the presentations at www.genesys.net/events.htm .
A week or two ago Harriet Green, CEO of Thomas Cook, outlined her new strategy for the business. She said that, under the new strategy, British brands will be simplified to “five omni-channel B2C brands.” This struck a chord with me as 12 years ago, in 2001, I organised a conference for Travel Technology Initiative called ‘Firing on all Channels.’