Rapid technology changes keeping travel on its toes


Slides on how quickly new technology permeates the consumer world are flashed up at travel conferences regularly but that makes them no less staggering or daunting for those in the industry trying to keep up.

Ponder this – it took radio 38 years to reach 50 million active users but it only took Google+ about four months and if anything change is happening faster.

The slide below comes via Accor whose vice president of customer strategy & technology, Accor distribution & marketing, Alison Broussy, spoke on personalisation at a Genesys-run session during WTM this week.

She was talking about “digital attackers ” such as Airbnb and Uber which are “changing the rules and disrupting the value chain.”

However, something very similar appeared as part of a presentation from Lee McCabe, Facebook head of travel, but in a different context.

He was predominantly talking about smartphone penetration and applications and predicted that “before long it will take a week for an app to come out and soon a day to hit 50 million people.”

innovation cycle

Inevitably it’s causing many players a bit of angst as they struggle to keep on top of developments and yet they accept we’re just at the beginning of it all.

During the WTMTTI  Innovation Summit this week, Chris Carmichael, Innovation Lab manager, TUI Destinations Services talked of ‘The New Normal’ a reference to Peter Hinssen’s book on how the world is changing faster than ever.

Carmichael says:

“We’re just getting to the half-way point with technology. We about the point where it goes crazy. It’s just the beginning, it’s going to accelerate and that’s something we  need to be prepared for.”

A couple of attempts by the audience to draw him out on ongoing TUI initiatives around virtual reality as well as technology to measure customer sentiment were in vain.

Time to limber up 

But, we’re in for an interesting ride.

Skyscanner’s development of voice flight search with Amazon Echo is a good example – does that mean the brakes should be applied to mobile development?

Not really in that many are predicting chat apps with built-in concierge services, initially combining human and computer, will be huge.

One theory put forward at the WTM Innovation session was that we’ll all be talking to our devices before too long rather than staring at screens.

Roadmap chief Jeroen van Velzen predicts a screen detox which will initially work better in the business travel segment but then filter through to leisure.

Companies such as Shazam and Buzzfeed are on his list billion dollar companies being created which use less than a minute in screen time. “The trend is we’re going to spend less time on screens. Try to find ways to provide the best experience with little screen time, especially for travellers.”

See original article at http://www.tnooz.com/article/consumer-technology-development/


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Founded by two travel and technology professionals with years of experience in Asia, Representasia specialises in sales & marketing representation throughout Southeast Asia for travel/hospitality technology providers and travel-related startups, as well as providing marketing consultancy services for hotels and travel businesses in the region.

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