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Travel Industry Must Overcome Economic and Political Disruption to Harness Future Growth

Amadeus 21 July 2017
New report from A.T. Kearney, 'What if? Imagining the future of the travel industry', identifies trends of personalization and seamless travel as key drivers of success in the next five to seven yearsReport also outlines four different world scenarios of the future, and warns that the emergence of protectionism and populism could hinder future commercial opportunities across the industryThe travel industry must be better prepared for economic and political disruption if it is to make the most of future economic growth, a new report from A.T. Kearney outlines today. Whilst the sharing economy, virtual reality and the Internet of Things are all improving the traveler experience, international geo-political, social and economic developments are disrupting and polarizing the world as we know it, limiting the industry's potential for future prosperity unless companies act now the report says.Against this backdrop, A.T. Kearney highlights two key trends that are changing the travel industry landscape, and driving future success:Personalized travel experiences versus mass market. Technology enables the aggregation of consumer data and the use of Artificial Intelligence to learn about traveler behavior. In addition, it may help to meet individual needs, instead of a more traditional one-size-fits-all approach.Seamless travel versus fragmentation. Truly seamless travel will require governmental cooperation and data sharing between businesses: from airports and airlines to destination services such as hotels, restaurants, and ground transportation.Based on these two key trends, Amadeus and A.T. Kearney have identified four future-looking world scenarios that travel companies need to prepare for today, if they are to maximize future growth and success tomorrow:The Picasso scenario is built on a fragmented world marked by the rise of populism and by heightened security concerns. This has the effect of making more travel destinations off-limits. Even so, most parts of the world enjoy economic growth. Companies invest in innovation to reach more customers through mobile channels, and this interaction enables businesses to provide more sophisticated personalized offers.The Dali scenario assumes that both social attitudes and economic prosperity create a more favorable environment towards sharing data. This brings about more relaxed privacy laws and lighter regulation, which allows for greater personalization of travel. Living in the Dali scenario, travel becomes faster, cheaper, and safer. People benefit from less security controls at borders and have real-time information about unexpected events such as flight delays.In the Bosch scenario, business costs rise across the industry as companies struggle to comply with a mosaic of different legal, tax, labor and data protection laws. We are confronting a fragmented world based on protectionism and distrust. Facing Bosch's political environment, travelers seek comfort in trusted brands and book directly with well-known travel providers.The Warhol scenario is characterized by seamless and not personalized travel that considers the implications of strong economic growth in Asia, giving rise to a large middle class with more disposable income for travel and leisure. Travelers would rather go for low cost, mass-market travel instead of having personalized options even in a world free of barriers."Technology has never held more promise for the travel industry," says Alex Luzarraga, Vice President Corporate Strategy of Amadeus IT Group. "But the status quo is being turned on its head. There is widespread mistrust and populism. Things we used to take for granted, such as the right to travel across Europe without passports, for example, may be less likely in the future. It is important to evaluate and understand, in partnership with A.T. Kearney, those issues that will continue to confront and disrupt the industry in the coming five to seven years, so we can as an industry be better prepared to deal with those issues, and also stimulate economic growth and success as a result.""The report is based on the perspectives of a broad range of stakeholders from across the travel and technology worlds. It illustrates a broad view of the future, which allows companies to uncover their organizational blind spots. Moreover, the study tests existing plans against industry outlooks, and helps us understand 'no regret' moves and imperatives in company strategy. This paper will provide an interesting perspective to the businesses that wish to prosper in the travel industry in the coming years," says Yelena Ageyeva-Furman, Principal, London, at A.T. Kearney.Commissioned by Amadeus, the study was based on a series of industry workshops and interviews from across the technology and travel industries. To learn more about the research and to download the What if? Imagining the future of the travel industry report, please click here.A.T. KearneyA.T. Kearney is a leading global management consulting firm with offices in more than 40 countries. Since 1926, we have been trusted advisors to the world's foremost organizations. A.T. Kearney is a partner-owned firm, committed to helping clients achieve immediate impact and growing advantage on their most mission-critical issues. For more information, visit www.atkearney.com.
commercial

Travel distribution industry underestimates the speed and scale of the consumer revolution, says new LSE study

Amadeus 11 October 2016
Artificial Intelligence, virtual reality and the use of portable technology could change travel distribution as we know it over the next 10 years, according to a new independent study released today by the London School of Economics (LSE).At the same time, industry and consumer pressures will generate more complexity in both content and technology. As consumers begin to expect more personalised content throughout their travel journey, the technology managing the differentiation of airline fares and services will become more complex. Those players who do not innovate fast enough to adapt to these changes will miss out on growth opportunities, says the LSE.These are just some of the potential 'future pathways' identified in Travel distribution: the end of the world as we know it?, an LSE study commissioned by Amadeus. The report provides a credible and objective benchmark for the industry. It recommends six areas for industry-wide collaboration:Consumer expectations will rapidly spill over from retail into travel distribution. Players in the travel distribution industry will need to respond with broad collaborations for aggregating, processing and harnessing the big data involved. Otherwise, the explosion of complexity and differentiation of services in the short term could translate into potential confusion for the consumer.The role of gatekeepers, the giant IT companies with major consumer interfaces, in travel distribution will continue to grow, notably through the use of virtual assistants, payment technologies and integration into social media.The size and power of 'mega-meta-OTA' hybrids (online travel agents with metasearch capabilities and global brands) are likely to continue growing. Consequently, their influence will penetrate deeper into the distribution chain, with the ability to negotiate better content and conditions, whilst still receiving commissions.The travel distribution industry is rapidly becoming a technology industry. Business models will need a more strategic approach that recognises the value creation of different technologies across the industry.To avoid consumer confusion and lost opportunities, industry distribution need to go beyond bilateral partnerships and contractual relationships. Distribution business models will need to evolve to encompass more shared innovation, a culture of experimentation and cross-industry alliances.Sharing economy platforms will continue to create new markets and erode the market share of suppliers and industry players who intermediate. The industry will need to adapt to this changing market and carefully monitor the impact of competition rulings in different regions as regulators play catch-up.Dr Graham Floater, Director, Seneca | EGC Director, London School of Economics, & one of the report's authors, commented: "The travel distribution industry is entering a period of unprecedented change - with rapidly changing consumer expectations, advances in data analysis technology and a blurring of the traditional lines between the various players. Our report identifies the disruptive factors that are likely to shape the industry, and eight future pathways for how the industry could develop over the next decade."Commenting on the nature of the travel distribution industry within the report, Kenny Jacobs, CMO, Ryanairsaid: "Everyone looks at their part of the industry from their own point of view and doesn't necessarily look at the consumer. The retail business is much more consumer orientated and has been for 25 years. The travel industry could learn a lot from retail in terms of opening up and what's the best solution for consumers."Holger Taubmann, SVP Distribution, Amadeus, added: "We commissioned the London School of Economics to take a dispassionate, academic and independent look at travel distribution in order to prompt industry debate and discussion about the future of our industry. This report makes a major contribution towards understanding how consumer expectations, new technologies and shifting market dynamics will shape the future of travel."Download the report "Travel Distribution: The end of the wold as we know it?"The report was commissioned by Amadeus, and insights are drawn from business leader interviews, data analysis and a major sector-specific survey spanning all global markets.
commercial

Harnessing data and analytics can create new opportunities to serve traveler needs, according to new Amadeus paper

Amadeus 7 June 2016
Technology and big data are rapidly changing the travel experience. Travel is no longer about simply moving between locations or organizing trips. Travel is now about building a 360-degree view of travelers and using that to create unique and memorable experiences tailored to their individual stated needs and preferences.Every step in a traveler's journey - from searching for a timetable or checking in to a hotel - creates data. This data, if picked up from hundreds of points across the travel network, presents a valuable opportunity for travel companies to transform it into meaningful information to facilitate strategic, tactical and operational decisions, ultimately to the benefit of the traveler.Today, not only do travel players have unprecedented volumes of data to work with, but computing power is increasing exponentially, giving them the ability to unlock the benefits of analytics and automation.Defining the future of travel through intelligence, a new discussion paper from Amadeus Travel Intelligence, outlines how data analytics can be used to develop innovative products, services, and processes that better meet the needs of their customers. It explains that travel companies must be open to experimentation, new ideas and new approaches.The paper includes case studies of how Qantas and Avianca Brazil are using data analytics supported by Amadeus Travel Intelligence to optimize operations and become more customer-centric: Qantas reduced the number of flights that would have been reported as late by 60% using Amadeus Schedule Recovery, while Avianca Brazil has been able to centralize information and make better informed business decisions."The companies that are more likely to succeed in the future travel industry will be those that embrace big data and experimentation," said Pascal Clement, Head of Travel Intelligence at Amadeus IT Group. "They'll try out new ideas and approaches to increase their operational efficiency and enhance the customer experience - and benefit from new revenues and increased loyalty. This paper explores both what can be done today, and how travel companies can best prepare themselves for the future."You can download a copy of the report here.Please see the corporate blog post on this announcement.

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