Recently, I was privileged to participate in the ENTER conference organised by the International Federation of Information Technology for Travel and Tourism (IFITT) in Helsingborg, Sweden.
This year’s conference focused on e-Tourism Present and Future, Travel Services and Applications, and more specifically looked at the role both demand and supply play in this quite clearly hectic arena.
The programme included a range of panels and presentations across increasingly popular topics such as social media, mobile, semantic search, user-generated content and many others by researchers, professors and other travel industry players alike.
As part of the event I had the opportunity to present on behalf of Amadeus at one of the many industry panels. I focused on interoperability issues in our travel industry – a challenging and complex topic to present in 20 minutes to a very heterogeneous audience!
As part of this, I drilled down into two very relevant cases studies that are becoming more and more relevant for the travel industry: enhancing the traveller experience at the ‘airport of tomorrow’, and the door to door journey management process. Both cases present serious interoperability issues and help to illustrate how Amadeus is directly working with the travel industry to deliver a better all-round travel experience – for the traveller – from start to finish.
I want to focus now on the door-to-door issue (much has been said already on the airport of tomorrow). This essentially concerns the global integration of transport & travel services that enables a traveller to plan (and by extension shop/book/ticket) address-to-address travel solutions involving more than one transport mode. It is the backbone of the holistic travel process and an experience and vision that is being pushed and supported by the Transport Director General in the European Commission.
Today, full integration of transport & travel services does not exist, which largely prevents the different travel industry providers from offering existing travel services in a better, more seamless way. Indeed, in 2012 organising an e-Tourism door-to-door trip is actually a very complex and time-consuming experience, especially since all of the various important parts of the travel process are not yet connected.
For example, let’s consider a trip from Madrid to Antwerp: where is the closest airport versus other airport hubs? What is the best connection from the airport to the city centre? What are the differences in cost? Is there wireless on the train? This whole thinking process defines and requires a new integrated travel planning process.
Here’s another example: let’s say you have a flight scheduled to depart in two hours’ time – and you then find out that it has been delayed by an hour. Thanks to new and seamless travel services, you can reschedule your day, and by extension your life, more quickly; thus creating better value for the whole e-Tourism process. Any disruption element will trigger different processes and actions.
Of course I would say this, but Amadeus is uniquely placed at the heart of the global travel technology industry and arguably best positioned to make this vision a reality. We can work with other travel industry stakeholders in order to facilitate the provision of technology worldwide to deploy an optimised end-to-end travel service that ultimately improves the total trip experience for the traveller.
I hope you have found this interesting and that I have given you something to think about. And for those who wish to know about the conference in particular please see this post on ENTER2012 main conclusions.