Mobile technology is the way forward for travel agents as recent studies show within the next five years 70-80 per cent of travel searches will be made via mobile phones and close to 80 per cent of those transactions will be made online.
Focussing on the theme 'Transforming Travel Experience Through Smart Technology', leading travel commerce platform, Travelport, held a two-day networking event at the Shangri-la Bar Al Jissah Resort & Spa in Muscat, Oman.
More than 200 Travelport customers and senior Travelport executives convened at Travelport Live, where speakers touched upon hot topics like mobile technology, speed and accuracy of search and artificial intelligence.
“We live in an exceptional world and one needs to anticipate what the customer needs before they even ask for it. For example, when a customer flies first class, we can tell what kind of hotel they are most likely to book. This is where Travelport can push content and drive results that the customer really needs," said Mattew Powell, managing director, Middle East and South Asia.
"Focusing on just 5 per cent of loyal customers can drive 40 per cent of profitably,” he said.
"Looking at the future, we need consider automation - how can we automate the back office and how do we help our customers become more efficient. And that's where artificial intelligence comes in. AI will play a big role in the future," Powell said.
At the event, Travelport presented one of its latest products - Travelport Effeciency Suite - which started development in May 2017 and today is Alpha testing with a small group of customers.
A cloud-based eventing platform, Travelport Effeciency Suite is designed to take away the complexity of planning trips.
Traveller numbers continue to grow rapidly worldwide, with the global travel industry contributing $7.6 trillion to the global exonomy in 2016, of which $465 billion came from the Middle East and South East Asia.
The new product will be released in a phased deployment in March 2018.
Travelport also anticipates growth for online travel agents (OTAs) and is investing in OTA Technology. According to CEO and president of Travel Port, Gordon Wilson, speed is of the essence.
“We live in a world where brands and loyalties are defined by the experiences they deliver to customers throuhgh all channels, especially those who use their phones to search for information or make transactions."
The goal is to get transaction searches within one second.
"It’s not just mobile-first, but experience first, Mobile is merely the latest disruptive channel to shake things up," he said.
"This isn’t to say that offline travel agents do not have a place – they do, and always will as we see in the more mature US and Europe makrets," he added. - TradeArabia News Service
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