The term Distribution Ecosystem appropriately describes the reality of today’s Travel Industry: an interdependent network of interaction and global energy flow. It is no surprise therefore that this year’s World Travel Market 2014 positioned the universal reliance on connectivity and automation as a prevalent and recurrent theme, emphasising the growing rate of integration between technology and reality. This evolution is and will continue to provide power to the consumer; the Travel Industry must meet the ever changing demands of our 21st century society and its emergent Generation Z.
The previous decade saw mobile phones evolve from cellular devices to multifunctional gadgets that provide instant and universal access at our fingertips. Today, technology continues to advance rapidly – with virtual reality on the horizon and wearables including Google’s Glass and Apples iWatch already dissolving any independence from technology – a consumer can book a flight through a blink of their eye. At WTM, Lee McCabe from Sabre acknowledged this permeation of digital into society – ‘mobile is not a technology, it is everything’ he said. With every consumer having authority to research, share, compare, transfer and communicate information at any time, the world has become an instant and accessible portal.
A two-way connectivity and movement towards fully integrated solutions is a necessity for OTAs, Travel Tech Providers, Travel Wholesalers and Hoteliers if they are to keep pace with the growing needs of their consumers. Generation Z is changing the face of travel; we are now part of a digital transformation. This is an era of Big Data – of knowing the consumer as an individual and immediately responding to their expectations and demands through online tracking systems, targeted marketing campaigns and progression into mobile apps and mobile-friendly sites. A company must adapt to the digital revolution otherwise, Generation Z will look elsewhere.
Meeting clients at WTM this year revealed that many of you are looking for change and to adapt your business to the new Digital Age. We had much interest at Ixaris because change needs to take place in all aspects of the supply and distribution system: from monitoring markets, to adapting to modern media platforms as well as increasing efficiency through travel technology and payment innovation. The implementation of Ixaris Payment Partner Solution acts to further corporate evolution by enabling your business to make global payments easily to worldwide suppliers, reduce your reconciliation efforts and costs and can even help generate additional income. Our systems integrate seamlessly at any level and we adapt and connect to your corporate ecosystem to help you become efficient in supplier payments. The World Travel Market 2014 emphasised the importance of connectivity and automation in the Travel Industry and Ixaris shapes the foundations of both.