Recently, Amadeus took part in the Travel Disruption Summit by Voyager HQ in New York City. Nearly 100 industry leaders and technologists attended the one-day symposium focused on new ways to shape the future of the travel industry.
Amadeus Head of Research & Development, Rashesh Jethi, delivered a fireside chat entitled, “How Technology is Closing the Gaps in the Travel Experience.” Jethi emphasized how technology plays a key role in the traveler’s experience, and identified seven ways travel retailers can inject innovation into the travel space.
Enhancing the travel experience
- Acknowledge that the travel experience can always be improved. Ask, “How can I make this process better and smoother for the traveler?”
- Start with the basics by finding simple ways to create new value for travelers.
- Identify creative ways to leverage emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), augmented reality, 3-D metal printing and hyper-haptics.
- Invest in the right technology, embrace and leverage it. “[It’s imperative to] go the hard, somewhat expensive route of freeing yourself from legacy technology,” he said.
- Focus on the future by embracing open system technologies that encourage innovation.
- Respect regulations designed to keep travelers safe, such as GDPR.
Lastly, Jethi encouraged travel retailers to flex their entrepreneurial muscles by finding new ways to expand and enhance the traveler experience. One example is the changing face of airports, which Jethi believes will continue to morph into spaces where travelers can enjoy more types of goods and services during airport layovers. “I believe airports are going to become malls that just happen to have flight terminals,” he said.
In an industry representing 10 percent of jobs globally and on track to reach $1.5 trillion in gross bookings by 2020, Jethi encouraged travel retailers – from startups to long-established players – to embrace innovation and disruption, which will ultimately make the travel experience better for everyone.