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The World of Travel Technology is changing.

November 9, 2014


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Its subtle but its there.

Mobile not Social
Ground not Air
Packaging stays true to its routes

The world of Travel Technology is part now of shifting sands as the universe changes (consumers are changing) then also the service model needs to change. At WTM (World Travel Mart) this year I really felt that the world is moving away from its traditional roots. In my view that is a good thing. Consumer facing technologies are great but the Supply Chain access and management remains stuck in the 1960s legacy platforms.

I like to wander at Trade shows. I of course spend the time looking intently at what people are offering in the sectors “du jour” and in the bits that I am personally interested in. Having done the Trade show walk for many years – what used to be somewhat chaotic is now a delicate dance and balance. Where I get quite a lot of inspiration is in listening to the questions that real punters – er I mean customers – are asking vendors for.. In truth I have become blasé about the wiles of the Steppes or the pebbled beaches of the Northern Med but the technology that powers consumers options both on the supply side and the demand side fascinates me. For much of my professional career in the Travel Industry – I have to say that much of what happens is actually a lot of smoke and mirrors. Complicated solutions built on fragile legacy technologies that in today’s real time economy really look archaic.

For technology I like to understand what is the shift. Not what the spin doctors are saying but what the users of tech are finding from their customers. In my somewhat jaded perspective I sense that much of the technology never gets used. So listening is very important. And what users are asking for is interesting? Yup you bet.

However while we are seeing some good stuff occurring in what the providers are focused on – sadly I still see that the Travel Industry sees itself as somehow uniquely wonderful and special. IE they don’t believe that the rest of the world is in that special place that Travel has occupied for decades and will continue to do so. How wrong can they be?

The latest set of startups I have seen are showing themselves as being far better designed and better suited for today’s consumer. However the bottleneck remains in the access to the supply chain. What we need is a better set of tools there. The days of an evolutionary approach I think are nearing the end and we are about to see some revolutionary changes. I hasten to add that this is not being driven from within the industry but from the periphery and definitely from the likes of the Big 4 Ecommerce players – Apple, Facebook, Google and Amazon.

Stay tuned folks this is going to be quite a ride.

If you are a traditional player – get your finger out and start rethinking your platforms.
If you are a new entrant or just interested in the category. Be careful where and how you source your data.


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