Travolution Start-Up Summit: Start-ups urged to embrace emerging tech

More than 100 delegates gathered at IBM’s London headquarters for the Travolution Start-up Summit 2018. Juliet Dennis reports
Start-up businesses have been urged to embrace new technology such as artificial intelligence.

Speaking at Travolution’s Start-Up Summit, Stone Ventures chief executive Stewart Baird said the lack of technology used by small travel businesses is ‘astounding’.

Baird told the summit that consumers today wanted same-day information on complicated, tailor made booking enquiries.

He said: “I am still astounded in the travel sector by the lack of technology available to the smaller businesses. When we look, as consumers, we want to see availability on the same day. When you want to book a safari or a complex tailor made holiday you can wait three days – but I want that quote now.”

He claimed artificial intelligence could help change that. “Unless these businesses adopt this technology at the front end, the way we provide it is challenging,” he added.

Travelport regional managing director Paul Broughton agreed: “Investing in this type of technology for us is massively important in driving that immediacy and personalisation for start-ups.”

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