Travels’ new frontiers and potential digital dilemmas highlight G20 event in Australia

Svend Leirvaag

VP Industry Affairs, Amadeus IT Group

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There was a very vibrant and thought provoking discussion among global tourism leaders, including Amadeus, about ‘Tourisms’ New Frontiers’ at the Brisbane Global Café, which was part of the G20 event in Brisbane, Australia this week. One of the major topics featured was the fast and massive growth of tourism that we can expect in the coming years all around the world and especially in the APAC Region.

brisbane global cafe

A key point that was highlighted at the event was the rise of mobile as the main tool travellers will be using to access travel information and content. The phenomenal growth of mobile internet connectivity provides millions of new users with unprecedented access to rich content, pictures, and videos about travel products and destinations globally.  This creates a completely new user experience for more and more consumers, driven by the expansion of mobile broadband infrastructure which provides the bandwidth required to deliver the content with global reach. It also represents a major challenge (and an opportunity) for travel providers everywhere.

At Amadeus, we see how this connectivity changes the way that people search for and are inspired by travel options and offers from providers globally. The number of searches that result in an eventual booking is increasing exponentially, indicating that the availability of information in itself stimulates consumers to search for inspiration and travel offers.

In addition to this – product unbundling and the introduction of ancillary offers from airlines and others are increasing the number of possible product combinations available for purchase.

It could be that a reason for the disproportional increase in search transactions may in fact be that the mindboggling amount of information is precisely that - mindboggling - and that it is so complex that it actually becomes more difficult to navigate in the market place, and more cumbersome to make the best possible choice. Perhaps, more is not better, but simply more confusing?

And while we are taking this challenge on as a leading technology provider - is there perhaps, a ‘digital dilemma’ here? Where does technology complicate more than simplify? When does technology and automation alienate the user/customer instead of energising the relationship? At what point does technology actually become counter-productive, undermining brand value and loyalty rather than strengthening it?

Earning the right to keep our leading role also means understanding better than anyone how our technology and automation solutions add value.  Our role as a technology provider is not only to deliver the solution, but to help our customers across the industry use it to enhance their relationships, perhaps even to provide the human touch that creates a  truly personalisedexperience that travellers would want to return to and tell the world about.


Traveler Experience, Asia Pacific, Industry Relations, Events