WTM 2017: ‘GDS will remain aggregator of choice’

WTM 2017: ‘GDS will remain aggregator of choice’

Global distribution systems will remain the aggregator of choice, says the head of technology at a leading travel management company.

David Chappell said that for TMCs to “climb mount aggregator” they must access meaningful metrics and be able to store activity.

He said that machine learning is behind as much as 40% of the processes that take place on GDSs, but joked that “people think the GDS is powered by hamsters”.

Chappell was confident that the GDS will remain the most popular platform to book travel products, despite the rise of Iata’s new distribution capability.

He added: “The GDS will continue to be the aggregator of choice.”

Real-time geo-positioning, he also said, was also a game-changer which “overhauls the concept of up-selling and cross-selling”.

He said agents using the technology could see where their customers are and suggest ancillaries to them while they are minutes away. These could be based on their preferences, gleaned from their data-based profiles.

Chappell also mentioned how he believes the rise of the AI-powered chatbot will help travel professionals cut out the ‘gunk’.

“Travel is an industry where we have a lot of gunk,” he said. “Why not have a chatbot to do the [remedial] tasks, so many travel professionals can be made to be more useful?”

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