Shap­ing the fu­ture of the travel in­dus­try

The Mid­dle East has one of the most ac­tive tech­nol­ogy users of today in terms of travel. The re­gion in­tro­duced var­i­ous new tech­nolo­gies to drive to­wards the growth of fu­ture in travel.

TravTalk - Middle East - - TECHNOLOGY -

Travel Tech­nol­ogy Ex­change or TTX Mid­dle East was an im­por­tant fo­rum where Sabre de­liv­ered some key point­ers by in­dus­try lead­ers and sub­ject mat­ter ex­perts over a se­ries of pre­sen­ta­tions and dis­cus­sions on tourism de­vel­op­ment in the Mid­dle East. The fu­ture of travel is shaped by nu­mer­ous fac­tors – ad­vances in tech­nol­ogy, in­creas­ing on­line and mo­bile pen­e­tra­tion, chang­ing pay­ment land­scape and evolv­ing con­sumer ex­pec­ta­tions. With emerg­ing tech­nolo­gies like ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence, voice or aug­mented re­al­ity, the way we ex­pe­ri­ence travel is set to change dras­ti­cally in the years to come. An­tonella Vec­chio, Vice Pres­i­dent, EMEA On­line and Western re­gion at Sabre Travel Net­work shared in­ter­est­ing points with the au­di­ence. Stand­ing at crossroads be­tween on­line and off­line, she pointed out six key fac­tors in her pre­sen­ta­tion to be taken into con­sid­er­a­tion to forge ahead in the travel busi­ness.The most im­por­tant point was that by the end of 2017, there would be over $35 bil­lion worth op­por­tu­ni­ties which, in turn, would reach up to $90 bil­lion by 2020. Per­son­al­i­sa­tion played a key role as the sec­ond fact as over 94 per cent of trav­ellers wanted to choose their own ex­tras by spend­ing over $98 bil­lion on air­line an­cil­lary ser­vices. The third point fo­cussed on the rapid growth of mo­bile tech­nol­ogy in the re­gion where there would be 56 per cent on­line pur­chase and 41 per cent pay for off­line pur­chase, 43 per cent com­pare prices and 33 per cent read prod­uct re­views. The on­li­ne­of­fline ex­pe­ri­ence is very im­por­tant as there has been a shift­ing trend be­tween the two.

Vec­chio re­it­er­ated that on­line travel was fol­low­ing the off­line trend with ex­am­ples from Europe. She spoke of how some on­line travel agents started off­line to en­gage more trav­ellers to pur­chase their prod­ucts. Fi­nally, she stressed on the im­por­tance of op­ti­mis­ing the trav­eller ex­pe­ri­ence by on­line ex­per­tise and con­sul­ta­tive ap­proach to en­hance busi­ness per­for­mance.

Aya Sad­der, In­cu­ba­tor Man­ager, In­te­lak which is part of the Emi­rates Group ex­plained the im­por­tance of the mil­len­nial trav­eller. Ac­cord­ing to re­search, she stated that by 2020, 50 per cent of the work­force would be mil­len­ni­als which would in­crease up to 75 per cent by 2030. She fur­ther em­pha­sised on pro­vid­ing ‘free Wi-Fi’ to mil­len­ni­als and shared many in­sights from Emi­rates‘ Aya Sad­der on the be­hav­iours and ex­pec­ta­tions of the mil­len­nial trav­eller. Mark McS­pad­den, Vice Pres­i­dent, Emerg­ing Prod­ucts & Tech­nolo­gies pre­sented an over­view of the work of Sabre Labs, the com­pany’s re­search di­vi­sion, and the emerg­ing tech­nolo­gies set to re­shape travel to space tourism.

The UAE is far ahead of many other coun­tries as the chat­bot fea­tures are al­ready avail­able in most of the bank­ing sec­tor in the UAE but travel is yet to ex­pe­ri­ence. How­ever, as UAE en­cour­ages space tourism in the near fu­ture, many pro­grammes have been im­ple­mented to be above the rest en­sur­ing that more ex­per­tise and ef­forts were made for these im­por­tant tech­nol­ogy as­pects. Sabre has their own labs which keep cre­at­ing var­i­ous new tech­nolo­gies to en­able to un­der­stand the new or next gen trav­ellers and their be­hav­iours as well. Mil­lions of dol­lars are been spent ev­ery year on de­vel­op­ment of these im­por­tant tech hubs.

Sabre is best placed to ex­plore and help shape the travel of the fu­ture. One of the world’s largest soft­ware com­pa­nies, Sabre tech­nol­ogy pro­cesses over US$120 bil­lion of travel spend and more than 1.1 tril­lion sys­tem mes­sages ev­ery year. Head­quar­tered in South­lake, Texas, Sabre em­ploys nearly 10,000 peo­ple in ap­prox­i­mately 65 coun­tries around the world, and serves its cus­tomers through cut­tingedge tech­nol­ogy de­vel­oped in six fa­cil­i­ties lo­cated across four con­ti­nents.

Mark McS­pad­den

Vice Pres­i­dent

Emerg­ing Prod­ucts & Tech­nolo­gies Sabre Labs

Aya Sad­der

In­cu­ba­tor Man­ager In­te­lak

An­tonella Vec­chio

Vice Pres­i­dent, EMEA On­line and Western re­gion at Sabre Travel Net­work

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