There is a strong chance that a major independent travel technology company will emerge during the current economic climate, a senior travel executive has predicted.
Comtec chief executive Simon Powell told Travolution this week that consolidation in the technology sector is needed and inevitable as travel firms look to outsource IT requirements away of the existing axis of GDS-backed suppliers such as Amadeus, Travelport and Sabre.
“Similar to the big tour operators last year, there will be some major consolidation amongst the travel technology firms in the next year,” Powell said.
It is “more than likely” that like-minded providers of IT and software who are strong in different regions and disciplines will come together to form a major supplier of back-end systems for online and offline intermediaries and tour operators, Powell said.
He added: “There is now a real need for a large technology business that is not connected to one of the large GDSs to be created.
Comtec, which Powell admitted is currently focusing on growing its business in the US and improving its travel agency systems in the UK, would “want to be a part of any organisation” should it emerge.
A financial warchest made available following the company’s private equity deal earlier this year could still be used for acquisitions, Powell said.
The company is currently concentrating on growing its Travelconnect system for intermediaries in the UK, Powell said, after the successful acquisition and integration of Travellink over the past few years.