TTME DEC 2018 - PG 9

Transforming travel digitally

In an era of big data, constant connectivity and digital workforces, travel sector too is no stranger to technology, explains Shafeekh Azeez, Director Sales – Dubai, Northern Emirates & Bahrain, Amadeus.

TT Bureau

Has the UAE’s travel industry been making significant headway in terms of digitisation?
The travel industry has naturally been caught up in the transformative wave. The destination caters to a young population, who are tech-savvy and expect to receive services online or via their smartphone. Generational demands have ensured the continued technological evolution of the travel industry, not only in ‘customerfacing’ operations like online travel agencies, but also in the back-end processes that power these sites. Airlines, hotels and other travel industry sectors now realise that they must pick up pace in terms of innovation.

Amadeus has seen notable growth in 2018 within the UAE, and Dubai in particular. What market forces do you attribute to this rise?
Some of our products like Touchless, Quotation Management and Fare Optimiser are being called upon as solutions to increase efficiencies and save costs. Amadeus Online Corporate Traveller is another tool that travel agencies can benefit from, as it enables corporate customers to easily book travel and follow-up on expenses, through a management module.
Data is the key to unlocking opportunity for airlines in particular, and they are coming around to the fact that they must embrace a data-driven approach in order to keep up with consumer preferences. Established airlines especially are being challenged by newer, more nimble competitors, and they are adopting smart data to deliver the experiences that today’s passenger demands.

Amadeus recently spoke about a repositioning from a GDS to a ‘Live Travel Space’. Can you elaborate on it ?
The ‘Live Travel Space’ philosophy comes from our mission to drive growth for both Amadeus and our customers. We will do so by helping travel providers to connect easily and work together to address the needs of travellers around the world, providing them with exciting travel offers at any given time. This is inspired by the dynamic nature of today’s consumer base. From technology to experiences, customers have varied demands.

The region’s travel industry is at a tipping point in terms of payment innovation. How can this help travel companies?
With the prevalence of connected devices, it’s easier for customers to make a purchase whenever, wherever they want… certainly a bonus for travel companies. Today, you can log onto an app and buy your dream holiday, visit a website and book tours. It’s convenient, quick, and secure.

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