In terms of technology, travel agents are at a stage when they need support on varied new solutions that come into effect on a regular basis. Travelport has been providing necessary knowledge and training for agents to optimise revenue and offer better service options to their clientele over the years, says Kathryn Wallington, Head of Middle East, Africa, UK & Ireland, Travelport.
What are the new revenue building areas for the agents?
A better, modern travel experience means giving customers the best choices across multiple suppliers, products, and ancillaries. It has further improved transparency so that customers know what they are purchasing no matter where they booked their trip. We believe the agents need access to more supplier options that will fuel their ability to sell more air, hotel, and car offers.
With progress in areas such as NDC for airlines, we can support simplified access to more options and offers, more ancillaries and servicing capabilities, which will push the needle for agents and allow them to better service their customers with the best trips options.
How does NDC work for the betterment of the agent?
We support the NDC standard to normalize travel content, and as a result, its intent makes comparison and personalization easier in travel retailing. We aspire to be a marketplace that is fair and transparent. That is why NDC was created because there is a lack of trust in the marketplace. At Travelport, we are focused on working with our airline partners to manage the complexities for our TMC and agency customers.
Could you share the new areas developed by Travelport for travel experience for traveler and agent that assists them?
The evolution to Travelport is all about making travel retailing experiences work (and feel) more like the internet. We do this by enabling self-service and automation that will allow the customers to activate their own modern digital retail experiences. Over 75 per cent of the global customers have completed their upgrade to Travelport, allowing us to accelerate delivery of the latest modern retailing tools. We are focused on providing agents the ability to automate task, giving them time to serve their travelers and expand our robust portfolio of travel content.
Travelport+ is also focused on making the process of managing exchanges easier for agents. Those who have upgraded to Travelport+ will have access to modern retailing capabilities that will help make their workflows more efficient, as we continue to roll out automation tools that support complex manual ticket-change tasks and simplify trip management. In order to help the agents deliver a modern retailing experience so that they benefit from lower costs and time saving for the agents as well as tbe travelers, we continue to evolve our Travelport platform.
Since sustainability is focus area in UAE and KSA, how do you work to achieve this?
Travelport recently became the first GDS to join GBTA’s sustainability program as a founding partner on the sustainability leadership council to support the corporate travel sector. Travelport is making strides in modernising travel retailing with our Travelport+ platform, which can help retailers determine the best eco-friendly travel itineraries. Travelport has joined Travalyst, as part of our commitment to drive sustainability forward in travel retailing. Travelport will implement the Travalyst data methodology and build capabilities to help its travel management firm and agency customers to accelerate sustainable travel.