Research report

Online Travel 2020: Evolve, Expand or Expire

Foreword by Sébastien Gibergues

Head of Leisure & Online Travel, Amadeus IT Group

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This paper is based on a research study conducted by our Segment Strategy and Innovation team, from Amadeus’ Global Customer Group. It was primarily built upon ongoing research and internal focus groups of approximately 50 Amadeus experts (Global PreSales & Consulting) around the world.

How do today’s online travel players prepare for an uncertain and dynamically evolving future?

The decisions you make today are critical for the future. Many people are resistant to change. But change is inevitable and the unforeseen can and often does occur; we’re working in a quickly changing industry where disruptive business models are blurring the lines between players, and new emerging technologies are taking root.

In order to be prepared for unpredictable upshots, we have used a scenario planning methodology to map trends and to devise likely sequences of events that paint a picture of what the future may hold.

We have identified the evolution of four different scenarios:  

  • The rise of Mega Online Travel Retailers: The consolidation between OTA and Metasearch business models, as well as the rise of online advertising, could lead to a new kind of Online Travel Retailer.
  • Introducing Digital Tour Operators: Traditional Tour Operators and OTAs may merge to become the ultimate travel seller. From handling complex trips to servicing with new generation travel stores, Digital Travel Operators could provide a happy mix of digital and human interaction to create a personalised travel experience
  • The rise of more sophisticated Mobile Travel Retailers: Imagine an addictive mobile travel agency app that accompanies the traveler along the entire journey. Rather than being a complementary distribution channel, mobile could become the only means of distribution and the only app a traveler needs – or wants.
  • The new Travel Marketplace: With more and more leading IT players and e-Commerce giants creating demand for new and innovative platforms, the players of the travel industry could come together and build their own Travel Marketplace platform for OTAs, airlines, hotels, and other travel-related companies to sell their products and services.

Technology transformation required

At Amadeus, we continue to invest in delivering more content, travel search and merchandising technology to help you deliver the ultimate online travel purchasing experience. With many projects under way, we provide the necessary building blocks to accompany your business into the future.

The future starts now. These new business models could be the nemeses or the vehicles for your success.

So, who do you want to be in three to five years from now?

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Leisure Travel, Traveler Experience, Chatbots, Merchandising, Mobile, Research