The news that Etihad passengers will be able communicate with the airline via WhatsApp got me thinking about my own messaging apps. I use quite a few. On my mobile I have Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, Skype, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Viber and good old SMS. Apart from SMS, they all provide global communication for free.
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.
I had a busy few days at World Travel Market at the beginning of this month. On Monday, I was moderating the WTM Travel Innovation Summit in Association with TTI and taking part in an Arabian Travel Market Roundtable. On Tuesday, I was running my Genesys Sessions seminars, non-stop from 10:30 to 17:30.
The world is inexorably moving away from broadcast television. In days of old, viewers across the country would sit down together in their tens of millions to watch the most popular TV programmes of the time.
2014 is set to be the year of the tablet. These user friendly devices are expected to make the long-expected jump to global acceptance. Recent figures show that 47.6 million units shipped around the world in Q3 2013. According to a new report from Gartner, over 260 million tablets will be shipped in 2014.
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 am just back from Dubai, having given a talk at the Arabian Travel Market on Latest Technology Trends. One thing I like to do now and then is to take a long view on where technology is heading and I am thinking, in particular, of what I call consumer access technology. This is electronic technology that provides communications and access to information and services.
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.’