Helping agents serve better

Travelport ‘s focus in India is growing the market in terms of getting Indian OTAs on board and strengthening its smartphone strategy in the country. It is also looking at bringing in more content and data.

TT Bureau

Mathew Powell, Managing Director—Africa, Middle East and South Africa, Travelport, said, that they are focused on growing the market in India. “With a strong emphasis on the online channel in the region, our key focus has been on providing services to some of the largest online travel agencies in India. We are also concentrating on the speed of response time and accuracy, and looking at how we can bring more content and data. From the offline travel agency product, we are still focusing on Smartpoint strategy, which is starting to resonate with the Indian travel agents. Smartpoint allows users to have more functionality and content at their fingertips, thereby offering personalised service to travellers,” he added.

Jason Nash, Chief Storyteller, Travelport, mentions that they closed 2017 on a high note. “In 2017, we made great progress with various strategies, particularly our mobile app business that we bought 18 months ago. It depicts how we can help our travel brands around the world build compelling mobile solutions. We are building mobile apps for a number of major airlines.”

For 2018, Nash revealed, that Travelport will be making investments in four key areas. He said, “We continue the leadership in travel choice with regard to the apps we are building for airlines. What we are doing is bringing the rich content that airlines want to make available to a larger population. Besides having API connections to 24 different airlines, we are one of the first distribution players to have NDC Level 3 certification. This allows us to have the largest chunk of content on air side. We are also investing in content for hotels and doing well with car suppliers too while working with some of the biggest OTAs. Secondly, we’ve been making investments in travel performance, and hence continue to improve our search algorithm and enhance the search response time.” With this, he said that in the last 18 months, on an average, they could cut two seconds of the global response time for their search.

“Our key focus is on providing services to online travel agencies in India” – Mathew Powell, Managing Director—Africa, Middle East and South Africa, Travelport

“We are one of the first distribution players to have NDC Level 3 certification” – Jason Nash, Chief Storyteller, Travelport

“We have also made investments for new suite of capabilities for travel agents, called the Travelport Efficiency Suite, which helps to remove the mundane activity for travel agents. Thirdly, we are working around improving travel experience, which not only means continuing the work with mobile applications but also helping travel agents being more productive. Hence, we have Smartpoint desktop. The final area is the investment on travel intelligence, in which we are making use of data assets in Travelport. Travelport involves business with a lot of Big Data and we’ve just started to scratch the surface of things,” added Nash.

Talking of India, which according to a recent report by Travelport, is the most tech-savvy country in the world, Powell said that the country continues to be the hotbed of innovation. “India is leading in terms of mobile and face technology. We believe that 70 per cent of all bookings by 2020 will be through mobiles, and India is driving a big part of that. We are looking at various technologies including Artificial Intelligence. These are exciting times for technology, and India definitely seems to be the hotbed.”

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