Travelport to update API suite

Greg Webb, Travelport’s new global CEO, shares plans for the upcoming year, which include a number of announcements and new suite capabilities in the marketplace in 2020.

Kanchan Nath

Q. What will be Travelport’s strategy for 2020?

We will be investing significantly into moving into our next-generation platform. In some ways, we want people to stop talking about us as a GDS because I just look at us as an electronic exchange be- tween the buyers and sellers of travel. So, we will be investing in that. Year 2020 will lead us to roll out a new capability around our API suite, so our trip services platform will lend itself to our cloud-based point of sale. It will lead to a new way of thinking, a broader source and repository for trip data. So, I am quite energised about the next-generation platform and where we are headed with that. Next year, you will see a lot of announcements and capabilities rolling out in the marketplace.

Year 2020 will lead us to roll out a new capability around our API suite, so our trip services platform will lend itself to our cloud-based point of sale

Q. With increasing dependence on direct hotel and flight bookings, where does the travel agent stand?

Airlines and hotels have been focused on direct bookings for a long time. The major shift for a direct model was not a shift from a travel agency to a supplier website, it was merely moving consumers who used to do direct business via the phone to direct business via the web. It’s not that there has been a major shift in that over the last 20 years.

Reality of the industry is that consumers want choice. So, unless you are in a captive market, one where a single carrier/single hotelier has a dominant position in that market, consumers are looking for choice. They want to understand what is going to be a fair deal and they will continue to shop aggressively to understand which carrier and which hotel provides them the most effective deal. It’s not efficient in any way, shape or form, either on the corporate or the leisure side, to spend time going to 30 different websites. It’s the aggregation capability we provide in the GDS model that provides the ability to reach out to multiple hotels and airlines, multiple car companies, multiple tour operators and multiple cruise lines, all at the same time.

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