WTM 2016: Open Destinations seeks to benefit from the bright side of Brexit

WTM 2016: Open Destinations seeks to benefit from the bright side of Brexit

London-based travel technology systems development specialist Open Destinations says it is winning new business following the pound’s slump after the Brexit referendum vote.

Kevin O’Sullivan, chief executive, said as a net exporter with a major development centre in Goa, India, the exchange rate fluctuations of recent weeks have made it more competitive against rivals.

He said the firm is one of a small number with the capacity to take on major projects for large scale operators and that international markets looked to the UK as a leading technology provider.

O’Sullivan said for Open Destinations there were some positives to Brexit. He said: “In the US, Asia and the Middle East they look at Britain as being a leader in travel technology compared to firms based in the US or the rest of Europe. That’s compelling for them.”

O’Sullivan said Brexit initially made people more nervous and he expects there will be challenges in the future as the UK negotiates its exit from the EU, but he added: “I’m a firm European, but you have to look as the positives that present themselves.”

Open Destinations is finding new business easier to come by on overseas markets than in the UK as it focuses on large scale projects for firms with up to 100 million queries per day. It has signed off £4-£5 million worth of business in the last four months and just gone live with Great Southern Rail in Australia.

Open Destinations is on track to turnover £8.5 million this year and make a profit of £2.5 million, said O’Sullivan

Open Destination is seeing increased demand from wholesalers and other firms looking to bundles products together to create bespoke packages and not compete head on with big online players like Expedia and Booking.com in the single component sector.

O’Sullivan said this is seeing operators adopt hotel-style revenue management strategies trying to drive early booking and ratchet up pricing closer to travel. This is seeing a general move away from a traditional set brochure pricing model to something more dynamic.

Open Destinations has integrated with the latest versions of channel managers Siteminder and Rate Tiger and added third party providers DerbySoft and Marriott.

The firm is also redeveloping its XML interface to utilise new technology to allow quicker development of mobile applications and Quicket response times when large amounts of data are being transmitted in mobile.

“We are constantly looking at how we can improve the selling interfaces we offer to people,” said O’Sullivan.

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