Content is (still) king: 2019 overview

Jessica de la Morena

Director, Global Air Content and Travel Platform Strategy, Travel Channels, Amadeus

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We’ve heard it plenty of times and it is no less true as the years pass: content is still the king.

We’ve heard it plenty of times and it is no less true as the years pass: content is still the king. By the end of the 20th century many industries experienced a shift in their value - driven precisely by content. Take television broadcasters for example: They had the channel to deliver information and entertainment, but having the best content was the key. 

The travel industry isn’t very different. At Amadeus, we’ve always known that having the best technology is important. Hugely important. But it is not enough. That is the reason why we have always put great efforts into negotiating and securing the best content for our travel agencies. 

Relevant content agreements

In 2019, Amadeus signed or renewed content agreements with 47 carriers. For example, we signed new content agreements with Southwest and SpiceJet.

Additionally, nine carriers, including Air Canada and Philippine Airlines, decided to host their inventories in Amadeus. For travel agencies, this means direct access to these airlines’ information, including real-time access to airline flight information such as arrivals, possible delays and diversions. As airline and travel sellers share the same passenger name record (PNR) file, all changes in the customer’s journey are immediately reflected, including airport disruptions, schedule and voluntary changes, confirmations and denials.

Other benefits for travel agencies who book any of the 130 Altéa carriers that distribute content via the Amadeus Travel Platform include: An instant reply from the airline when a special service is requested; frequent-flyer real-time validation; automatic rebooking of any special service; and seat changes. These important benefits give Amadeus-connected travel sellers a unique ability to provide a superior level of service to their customers. 

Integration of NDC content

2019 was an exciting year when it comes to NDC content in Amadeus. Our ongoing investment to integrate content has allowed us to develop solutions that show all content, both EDIFACT and NDC, in one single and fully integrated display, with no pop-ups and no need for the travel agent to leave their working interface. 

And there is more to come. In 2020, we look forward to sharing more developments and content integrations as we speed up the global roll out of our NDC-enabled solutions and integrate NDC content from more carriers.

Merchandising and rich content

Airlines continue to trust Amadeus to deliver a wider range of additional content. Eight new carriers (Gulf Air, Cyprus and Cabo Verde Airline to name just a few) started selling their ancillary services through Amadeus in 2019. With them, 132 airlines are offering tailored air content to travel agency users, making travel experiences more personalized and adapted to the traveler’s needs.

In addition to this, 14 new airlines have made their fare families offers (packaged booking class fares and services into branded products) available in the Amadeus Travel Platform. This means that for 78 airlines, Amadeus-connected travel agencies can benefit from the clear, structured fare information they need to proactively inform and advise customers. 

But if merchandising content is important, imagine what rich content can do. In 2019, Amadeus extended its partnership with Routehappy by ATPCO. This renewed and amplified collaboration significantly expands merchandising capabilities for airlines and unlocks new opportunities for travel agencies that now have access to airlines rich content for NDC and non-NDC offers.

Air and beyond

It’s not only air that glitters though. In 2019, we signed a landmark in hotel distribution with Booking.com. Thanks to this agreement, travel agencies have access to 30% more accommodation options via the Amadeus Travel Platform. Amadeus has also become the first travel tech player to offer Restel’s portfolio of 150,000 hotel properties. 

Furthermore, we partnered with a number of travel organizations dedicated to land and sea transportation to expand our content portfolio. In 2019, Amadeus added Viking River and Viking Ocean to our portfolio. We also signed an agreement in September with Hertz Corporation. As part of this deal, Amadeus-connected travel agencies can access Hertz, Dollar, Thrifty and Firefly full inventories, enabling them to deliver full end-to-end services to their customers, up to the latest mile.

Additionally, in 2019, Amadeus became the first technology platform to distribute China Railway offers anywhere outside of mainland China. Travel agencies can also book and refund China Railway tickets in multiple languages.

It is clear that content was king in 2019 and will continue to be in 2020. We look forward to sharing announcements of new content agreements over the year, showing you how we’re bringing this content into our Travel Platform, and how we’re working with our customers in the Live Travel Space to deliver better journeys to travelers worldwide. 

To learn more about 2019 travel content highlights in Amadeus, check out this infographic here:

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Travel sellers, Live Travel Space, Travel Search, Travel Platform, Merchandising