Thursday, April 18, 2024

Sabre hosts travel tech trends panel talk at ATM

Sabre Corporation, a leading global technology provider to the travel industry, sponsored the travel tech stage at the Arabian Travel Market Middle East (ATM) 2023 in Dubai, providing a platform to facilitate industry discussions.

As part of the program, Sabre hosted an insightful panel discussion titled “The Main Trends Impacting Travel in 2023 and Beyond,” featuring prominent industry experts from dnata and Wego, who shared valuable insights into the current and future landscape of the travel industry. The panel shed light on the emerging trends, challenges, and opportunities that are shaping the travel industry in the present and beyond.

Andy Finkelstein, Senior Vice President of Travel Solutions at Sabre, delivered an introduction on the industry trends impacting the travel industry and transforming its landscape. He emphasized the significance of modern retailing and digital transformation in reshaping the industry’s outlook, stressing the importance of collaboration among all parties to achieve common goals.

“Enabling modern retailing is an industry-wide effort. The bulk of development work needed right now for the industry to transition to offer and order-based retailing relies on airlines and tech providers,” he said.

“But agency’s role is crucial too! They hold vital connections with travelers and, arguably, understand their needs and expectations the most. Many agencies are already delivering intuitive and personalized retailing experiences. They can also tap into the industry’s transformation, using it as an opportunity to redefine their role in the ecosystem, streamline processes, deepen relationships with customers, and open new partnership and revenue opportunities.”

Jason Hooper, Head of Digital Solutions at dnata Travel Management, the Middle East’s leading corporate travel provider, highlighted the remarkable growth of corporate travel across the region. Hooper highlighted the factors driving this growth, including mega-projects and local companies seeking expansion opportunities. He further outlined the key considerations for Corporate Travel Managers in 2023, including cost mitigation, sustainability, traveler well-being, and duty of care.

“At dnata, we have been witnessing strong growth in corporate travel across the region,” stated Hooper.

“Factors such as cost mitigation, sustainability, traveler well-being, and duty of care are high on the agenda for Corporate Travel Managers in 2023. We have invested significantly in integrating NDC content into our platforms, enabling us to enhance the corporate travel experience by providing customized recommendations and the ability to purchase meaningful add-ons. With Sabre as our trusted Travel Tech partner, we deliver market-leading technology across our booking platforms, helping our customers achieve their sustainability goals.”

Dean Wicks, Chief Flights Officer at Wego, shared his excitement about the recent advancements in generative AI and Large Language Models. Wicks highlighted the transformative impact of these technologies on their products, enabling Wego to provide smarter solutions to their users.

He revealed that Wego has created an AI task force to fast-track a project focused on incorporating a natural-language voice and text interface. This interface will allow users to interact with the Wego app and ask questions to effortlessly book their flights.

“The giant leap forward in generative AI and Large Language Models has opened up a whole new toolkit of technologies for us,” stated Wicks. “We are actively working on integrating a natural-language voice and text interface into the Wego app, allowing users to communicate with our platform seamlessly. This project has gained significant momentum with the formation of an AI task force dedicated to its success.”

Finkelstein elaborated on Sabre’s dedication as a technology provider to unite the industry and capitalize on these advancements.

“At Sabre, we are fully committed to revolutionizing the travel industry through modern retailing. We firmly believe that harnessing advanced technology and data-driven solutions can elevate the overall travel experience for both travelers and industry stakeholders. Our focus on modern retailing empowers us to offer personalized recommendations, streamline booking processes, and provide meaningful add-ons. Our ultimate goal is to enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty while enabling travel providers to unlock their full revenue potential,” explained Finkelstein.

On the sustainability front, Finkelstein emphasized the role of modern retailing in providing customers with options to support the responsible brands.

“As a technology company, we are in a privileged position, and we have a huge responsibility to use our platform to help drive global sustainability goals and to steer the travel industry towards more responsible decisions. Modern retailing will offer the option for agencies, corporations, and travelers to choose the brand they want to deal with based on their sustainable initiatives.” He added.

Sabre’s panel discussion at ATM offered attendees invaluable insights into the future of the travel industry, equipping them with the knowledge to stay at the forefront of innovation and embrace the emerging trends that will shape the industry’s trajectory.

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