Innovation should allow our customers to enrich the traveller’s memory of experience

David Doctor

Vice President, Provider Offer Management, Travel Channels, Amadeus IT Group

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We should be connecting the dots between inventions and market conditions, creating unexpected opportunities, in order to make a tangible behavioural impact on the travel experience, showing a real added value or delivering “something new”.

david doctor


Many companies equate invention with innovation. But you do not always need an invention for innovation to thrive. Instead, I believe that we should all be looking at innovating in our day-to-day lives, which means looking at devices, business routines, technologies, commercial practices and relationships with a different angle.

How can we improve the consumer experience through innovation?

In that sense, innovation is essential to enrich consumer experience, using it as a key driver to make things more personalised and relevant. We should be asking ourselves how our technology, services and business practices will modify the way travellers act and react, what is needed for them to adopt the new behaviours and how this will have an impact on their memory of the experience afterwards.

As Professor Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel Prize winning psychologist says, “there is a big difference between an experience and the memory of an experience”. Successful innovation should allow our customers to enrich the travellers’ experience, as they will always base a repeat purchase on the memory and not on the experience itself. How do I remember a trip? How do I compare this souvenir with the memory I have of previous trips? What perceptions remain after those trips?

Based on the memories I have, as a traveller, I will then decide if I want to go back to a destination, if I want to purchase from the same point of sale or provider or if I would recommend anairlineor ahotelto a friend.

The emotional resonance of planning, searching and booking travel may in fact be the very future of travel innovation we’re all looking for…and it is our goal to enable our customers to fulfil that future.