Travo Summit: ‘Good technology can differentiate firms in tough times’

Travo Summit: ‘Good technology can differentiate firms in tough times’

Travel companies investing in good technology can differentiate themselves and be successful in “tough times” according to a panel at the Travolution European Summit in London.

Group chief information officer of e-commerce firm Atcore, Nigel Beighton, said: “It’s tough times for all of us, but I think it’s particularly tough as a travel company.

“Not only are things getting squeezed, but there is a huge amount of innovation in the market. Travel companies who get innovation right are differentiating themselves massively.

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“The ones with technology in good shape are standing out in a market which is tight, and they are making money.”

He cited distribution platforms, saying: “Most people who are able to do things like baggage, flights, accommodation and more on complex and innovative platforms make progress.”

Paul Nixon, managing director of IT services firm Intuitive, said: “From a technology perspective, the travel industry is constantly changing, and we need to meet that change.”

Technology research company T2RL’s vice president of research for distribution platforms and technology, Ben Moss, said: “An interesting thing to note is dynamic packaging. It was thin on the ground five years ago but now 87% of T2RL’s portfolio is doing it.”

There is, however, debate over whether technology systems should be developed in-house or by third parties.

Olly Wenn, owner of travel web design company Zolv, said “both are attractive models”.

He added that Zolv has seen business form in-house teams as when board members look to appear “more pro-active” so they are not “beholden to my work schedule” but suggested pitfalls arise when other areas of the firm take precedence.

Wenn said: “I prefer a long-term relationship as you need to deliver value for money today. For me, it’s good to have a commitment from a company. It means we can offer a reduced rate on the promise of work over the next 12 months.”

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