Bookable and serviceable inventory is the first of many challenges facing suppliers involved in developing the technology to power the connected trip, a Travel Forward Virtual panel said this week.
David Adamczyk, Booking.com’s head of transport strategy, said the “customers need to feel that everything is integrated and works together” while Manuel Hilty, CEO of Nezasa said “the complexity is in being seamless while also being flexible.”
Travellers’ expectations do not factor what happens behind the scenes. Sol Freixa,
Global Director, Travel Advertising Amadeus said: “The more connected travellers are, the more information they have, the more content they have available, the more demanding they are.”
Booking.com has been “on a mission” to add bookable content onto its platform, Adamczyk said “because travellers expect that from us a sector.” Amadeus is also in the business of adding bookable content to its content.
But for this content to form part of a connected trip, it needs to be manageable. “As customer I should be able to book and manage the trip where and when I want, ahead of time, on the fly…and if there’s an issue it should be handled in an elegant way,” Adamczyk added.
Personalisation is another challenging demand from travellers. Curating content, using digital signals from the traveller, is one way to remove some layers of complexity. Nezasa, is building a hyper-personalisable end-to-end itinerary planning and management tool.
Hilty said: “To succeed, we must only give the customer the choices they want to make. They don’t need to see everything and we strive to automate as much of this as possible.”
Another area of complexity was highlighted by Freixa. “It’s important to understand that travellers will have booked their trips across different touchpoints, and that they might well have used different devices to access different content for the same trip.
“And they will still want personalisation, to have relevant content pushed to them based on their profile.”
Looking ahead, all three panellists said that progress will continue to be made, but according to Hilty, “the big vision, where everything is seamless, on the ground, still needs a lot of work from everyone involved”.
Richard Gayle, Event Director, Travel Forward, said:
“The connected trip is a really exciting area for us and the industry. Connecting all elements of the trip, make each bookable and manageable in a seamless and ‘elegant’ way is a challenge which our panellists are facing head on.
Travel never stands still, and there will be a lot more innovation to come in this area and we look forward to keeping this topic centre-stage as the industry rebuilds and recovers.”