Travel systems provider Comtec has begun trials on next-generation technology that it says will enable agents and operators to compete with the sector’s global big guns.
The Cwmbran-based software developer is now back in the hands of founder Simon Powell after a deal brokered with the firm’s bank to take it out of private equity ownership.
Powell said Comtec and his latest venture Eysys would now be integrated to ensure Comtec’s 20-year-old technology is brought up to date.
Eysys was set up three years ago to develop analytics technology to help travel firms better target customers with the most relevant product and deals.
It employs 25 people and has 30 clients, including Cruise.co.uk and customer review engine Feefo, for which it is developing a new platform.
Two trials are already under way with Comtec clients to integrate Eysys’s predictive analytics technology into agents’ selling screens.
By the end of this year, Comtec aims to have completed the more complex integration of Eysys into its core Travelink tour operator reservation system, enabling holiday firms to respond to predicted demand.
“One of the reasons for buying Comtec back was to add the power of Eysys into the system,” said Powell.
“We are talking about how you can start predicting what someone is actually going to want and send them back a unique set of personalised results.
“This is absolutely how smaller players – outside of global giants like Expedia and Booking.com – are going to be able to compete more effectively. It’s going to be important they can give a better experience than the big aggregators.”
Powell said increasing costs associated with breaking into the travel sector also means new online entrants are going to have to offer something more targeted than the big established players.
Comtec was this week due to exhibit its systems, for the first time since Powell (pictured) and chief executive Mike Russell finalised the buyout, at Travel Technology Europe in London.