We’re creating a more connected travel industry, underpinned by sustainability and long-term investor relations.
President of Travel Channels, Amadeus
When you think about the meteoric rise of companies such as Facebook, Uber or Airbnb, all have one thing in common. In developing their services they put the end user, travelers, first. They focus on offering a unique and memorable experience, often going beyond the expectations of their customers.
There is a lesson here for everyone in travel and tourism. As the industry moves to embrace new approaches to merchandising and technology standards such as NDC, we must make sure we keep our ultimate customer, the traveler, front of mind. And what do they want? Travelers are demanding more personalization, and with new technologies like NDC, we can move towards creating truly unique, truly personalized trips every time.
So could NDC help travel players serve travelers better?
Travelers are less loyal than before, and as such, travel sellers – from retail travel agencies and online travel companies to business travel agencies – are all competing more fiercely than ever. But technology is also making it easier for these businesses to differentiate themselves and this differentiation will help travel sellers and travelers better identify exactly what’s right for them for each particular trip.
NDC could bring richer content at the time of booking – more images and information of course, but also videos, traveler reviews and even VR are all becoming a reality. Not only fares are displayed, but also bundles of services – all personalized according to the traveler and the trip. Having access to this NDC content in a platform built on open systems will allow everyone to merchandise effectively in all channels and serve travelers simply, quickly and accurately. And fully open systems mean more innovation and faster time-to-market. So as an industry we can become more agile, more dynamic, and more responsive.
Of course, if we revolutionize what and how we sell, change will clearly be required on all sides. Amadeus is adapting its technology to drive these changes and ensure that we futureproof our own, and more importantly our customers’ business. Travel sellers will need to adjust booking flows and IT processes to be able to consume NDC content.
NDC has the potential to offer opportunities for all but requires collaboration across the industry. The key thing is that airlines, technology providers and travel sellers must work together to ensure NDC benefits the industry as a whole as well as each of its members.
The NDC upside for corporations
As more corporations expand their businesses, both locally and globally, their employees are poised to travel more often. They are also increasingly demanding more for their trips. They want to leverage new technologies and have a seamless experience. So, corporations are also looking for ways to further personalize and tailor travel options for their business travelers.
NDC content will enable corporations to define more granular corporate policies, taking into account ancillaries and personal packages. And for the business travelers, they could access richer content which goes beyond the fare and includes a bundle of services like VIP parking, lounge access and priority boarding. All of this could directly be accessed on the online booking tool to simplify the business traveler’s journey.
And how about the traveler?
NDC will give travelers more information about flight amenities, pictures, and food options, among other things. Access to personalized content directly provided by the airline will also be possible. This means more relevant offers based on the user’s exact preferences.
How Amadeus is approaching NDC
We’re working closely with our travel seller customers, including Flight Centre, Travix, Carlson Wagonlit, American Express Global Business Travel and BCD Travel. They are providing input into the design of a variety of Amadeus solutions – including Amadeus Web Services, Amadeus Selling Platform Connect and Amadeus cytric Travel & Expense – which are all backed by our Amadeus Travel Platform.
But we’re not there yet. NDC is a step in the overall journey to greater digitization that the entire industry is on, with both travel providers and travel sellers working with Amadeus. It is critical that we get it right to make sure that the journey is just as enjoyable as the destination.