Amadeus is predicting a transformation in the way people shop for holidays as testing of its new ‘extreme search’ technology with retail partners is set to start.
Currently available for airline websites and being used by Lufthansa.com, trials of the system are planned with a couple of unnamed European online travel agencies this autumn.
Speaking in an in-depth interview with Travolution, Ian Wheeler, Amadeus marketing and distribution vice-president, said the technology, developed by the company’s leisure arm Traveltainment, promised a quicker, more intuitive shopping experience.
“We have a platform that can respond to very sophisticated enquiries in milliseconds. We feel we have something special,” he said.
The low-margin nature of the travel industry, particularly among online players, has been cited for being behind a flurry of recent collapses. Wheeler said the technology could provide a solution to that as it enables agents and customers to conduct search on much more sophisticated perameters than just price.
The Traveltainment agent desktop will offer a more graphical, intuitive interface, making it suitable as a sales tool and compatible with new forms of display such as Microsoft’s Surface.
“The user interface technology allows you to display complex information in a fun way – that’s good if you want to sell something.
“The old viewdata screen is not exactly the ideal sales brochure.
“If you can show the consumer a screen that makes sense to them you have a much more interactive process.
“Whether that’s enough of a compelling reason for the consumer to walk into the shop in the first place is another question.”