Experts discuss future of travel @ATM

Sabre hosted a panel discussion on ‘The Main Trends Impacting Travel in 2023 and Beyond’ at ATM last month featuring prominent industry experts from dnata and Wego. The experts shared valuable insights into the current and future landscape of the travel industry, including the emerging trends, challenges, and opportunities that are shaping the travel industry.

TT Bureau

Sabre Corporation sponsored the travel tech stage at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2023 in Dubai, providing a platform to facilitate industry discussions and debates about technology and innovation.

Andy Finkelstein, Senior Vice President of Travel Solutions at Sabre, delivered an introduction on the industry trends impacting the travel industry and transforming its landscape. He emphasized the significance of modern retailing and digital transformation in reshaping the industry’s outlook, stressing the importance of collaboration among all parties to achieve common goals.

“Enabling modern retailing is an industry-wide effort. The bulk of development work needed right now for the industry to transition to offer and order-based retailing relies on airlines and tech providers. But agency’s role is crucial too! They hold vital connections with travellers and, arguably, understand their needs and expectations the most. Many agencies are already delivering intuitive and personalized retailing experiences. They can also tap into the industry’s transformation, using it as an opportunity to redefine their role in the ecosystem, streamline processes, deepen relationships with customers, and open new partnership and revenue opportunities.”

Jason Hooper, Head of Digital Solutions at dnata Travel Management, the Middle East’s leading corporate travel provider, highlighted the remarkable growth of corporate travel across the region. He pointed out the factors driving the growth, including mega-projects and local companies seeking expansion opportunities. He further outlined the key considerations for corporate travel managers in 2023, including cost mitigation, sustainability, traveller well-being, and duty of care.

“At dnata, we have been witnessing strong growth in corporate travel across the region,” said Hooper. “Factors such as cost mitigation, sustainability, traveller well-being, and duty of care are high on the agenda for corporate travel managers in 2023. We have invested significantly in integrating NDC content into our platforms, enabling us to enhance the corporate travel experience by providing customized recommendations and the ability to purchase meaningful add-ons.”

Dean Wicks, Chief Flights Officer at Wego, shared his knowledge about the recent advancements in generative AI and Large Language Models. Wicks highlighted the transformative impact of these technologies on their products, enabling Wego to provide smarter solutions to their users. He revealed that Wego has created an AI task force to fast-track a project focused on incorporating a natural-language voice and text interface. This interface will allow users to interact with the Wego app and ask questions to effortlessly book their flights. “The giant leap forward in generative AI and Large Language Models has opened up a whole new toolkit of technologies for us,” said Wicks. “We are actively working on integrating a natural-language voice and text interface into the Wego app, allowing users to communicate with our platform seamlessly. This project has gained significant momentum,” he added.

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