Amadeus, a leading travel technology partner and transaction processor for the global travel and tourism industry, recently held its annual Online Connect event at the Hermitage Hotel, Monte-Carlo. This exclusive Amadeus conference for online travel agencies was attended by over 35 key global delegates. The objective was to discuss how online travel agencies must compete, sustain their business and evolve in today’s rapidly changing marketplace, with technology acting as a key enabler to fuel growth.
The new era of online travel, otherwise known as Online Travel 3.0, was at the heart of the discussion, with over 60% of delegates agreeing that this was taking place today; end-consumer expectations have changed as online and mobile technologies have evolved, with supplier and retailer collaboration being driven by customer insights.
High-profile online travel organisations and key industry players took part in an engaging business agenda, which included inspiring keynote presentations, strategic networking opportunities, panel discussions and an in-depth Amadeus Technology Showcase. Guest speakers included Clive Humby, a retail and branding expert, who drew inspiring parallels of the online world with the more traditional successful retailers, highlighting the importance that retailers place on personalising the customer´s experience, and what the online travel world could learn from them; and Carroll Rheem from PhocusWright, who shared the results of a global study commissioned by Amadeus on travellers´ online shopping habits, which will be launched publically later this year.
Carroll Rheem, Director of Research, PhocusWright, commented, ¨While some traveller needs are universal, local dynamics add distinct characteristics to each marketplace and can make or break enterprising retailers. But a snapshot of current traveller behavior is just part of the big picture. As a dynamic industry consistently at the forefront of innovation, the business of selling travel requires players to keep a sharp eye on the future. With this in mind, Amadeus commissioned PhoCusWright to study consumers around the world to understand how they make holiday travel decisions today, and how they would like to make them in the future.¨
Stephane Durand, Director, Online & Leisure, Amadeus, stated: “The online travel industry is changing at an incredible pace. As the global technology partner to the industry, it is our objective and commitment to better understand the challenges our customers are facing in the industry today. These important gatherings help us to align priorities and concentrate our efforts on the future, exploring the different routes to growth and profitability for our customers.¨
Earlier this year, Amadeus launched Extreme Search for online travel agencies, an inspirational shopping tool that offers an intuitive search solution that revolutionises the way consumers search for air travel online. Amadeus Extreme Search allows consumers to search by budget, type of activity or geography, rather than searching by traditional criteria such as origin and destination.