How startups can improve the traveler journey

Recently, I participated in the Travel Is Your Business podcast with Kerri Zeil, head of Amadeus for Startups. We discussed Expedia Group’s exciting foray into the realm of supporting startups. We chatted about different opportunities for startups that address the traveler journey across every stage.

Supporting startups

Innovation comes in many different forms, and at Expedia Group, we recognize that the different ways we support startups will vary by customer need and type of business. When considering the potential that Expedia Group brands offer, there are some areas where we may not currently have capability. Or, a potential solution might not be a roadmap priority. There may also be startups that have already experimented with great solutions. By partnering with Amadeus, we can collaborate with those startups to test out new offerings and see if there’s a good market for them.

White space for startups

Expedia Group has experimented with innovation labs and hackathons, and together with Amadeus, we see a lot of white space where startups can make inroads. Maybe it’s an idea that we’re not certain will work for our customers. Maybe we spot ways we can fill gaps or introduce additional nuances on top of technology we already have.

For instance, often customers come to our website with no idea of where they want to travel to, or maybe they’re narrowing it down among several destinations. I think an interesting opportunity exists in considering how we can be more relevant in the inspiration phase of travel planning.

And when I consider the future, an area that is ripe for innovation is the entire airport experience. For example, if airports were to remove friction points, travelers will have more time before flights to shop, relax in a wine bar or enjoy a spa treatment.

In-destination opportunities

We all know that at the end of the day, people don’t travel to sit on an airplane or stay in their hotel room. They travel to do and experience. As a result, in-destination services offer big opportunities for startups. Brand Expedia has local activity options included in our app right now, powered by our Local Expert team, but there’s still plenty of room for growth. Offerings such as local insider information, activity tips and restaurant advice, all benefit the traveler journey.

It’s exciting to partner with Amadeus in working with startups that embrace innovation and change. We provide a litmus test to see what solutions might resonate, and then direct startups where they need to go. Both Expedia Group and Amadeus are committed to helping startups create exceptional journeys for travelers.

Want to learn more about how Amadeus and Expedia Group can help your startup? Listen to this episode of the Travel is Your Business podcast.


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