Investment in industry distribution systems will be the vexed issue under the spotlight at the Travel Technology Initiative`s (TTI) autumn conference, the organisation announced today.
, which spearheads the development of technology standards in the European travel industry, will hold its `b2b or not 2b` event at the Institute of Electrical Engineers in London on Tuesday 15 October 2002.
The conference will draw speakers from companies including TUI, Freeserve, Sabre, OpenJaw Technologies and Dolphin Dynamics and is expected to produce over 100 delegates from across the travel and technology industries.
Under the spotlight will be the latest advances in business-to-business distribution technology within the industry, including breakthroughs from travel agency and tour operator system providers.
TTI general manager Mick Mott commented,: “The travel industry is going through challenging times and technology is playing a vital role in its development. Companies are debating to what extent they should work with each other or whether they should take the direct-sell approach, and these are the issues we`re tackling head-on.”
The keynote speaker is Jim Mann, chief information officer of TUI Northern Europe - which includes the UK travel business division Thomson and Lunn Poly - who will argue travel has fallen behind other industries in the use of B2B technology for trading. He will explain TUI`s reasoning behind the launch of its new Genie travel agency selling system, which the company has claimed will replace viewdata in its shops.
Roberto da Re
, president of Dolphin Dynamics, will explore how technology is being developed to allow agents to cherry pick content from travel websites to create new business opportunities, while Brian Shankman, managing director, Technology, Sabre EMEA will speak about how GDSs are adapting to the need to distribute a much wider range of non-air travel products.
OpenJaw Technologies chief executive officer John McQuillan will speak on how travel retailers can optimise the collection and distribution of supplier content using intelligent dynamic distribution.
Other speakers include Heath Kane, chief executive of Mirror Image Communications, who will discuss the advent of B2B distribution systems for hotel rooms; Freeserve travel channel manager Karen Charles and travel sales manager Louise Corfield who will together cover the role of travel portals since the dot.com boom. Finally, TravelSelect head of strategic partnerships Darryl Bowman and Stephanie Gay, UK online marketing manager for lastminute.com, will talk about the benefits of building affiliate networks.
Mick Mott added: “We are witnessing the arrival of a mass of new technologies that are making it increasingly easier for the industry to do business in a dynamic way.”
Added conference organiser and moderator Paul Richer: “There is more cooperation between suppliers and sellers and we`re seeing a lot of innovation in the industry which will benefit all players. We believe the conference will provide stimulating debate for speakers and delegates alike.”