Monday, May 16, 2005

Resurfacing after a long absence

Over the last 8 weeks I have been swamped with two large projects and my Weblog activity took a back seat to a heavy travel schedule (on the road 80% of the time) and long 70 hour weeks. Well enough about my excuses for not writing more frequently, here are a few thoughts on some of the latest happenings in the world of travel related technology:
1) The continued focus and disputes around the GNEs - with the lead supplier advocate leaving UA to join ITA, many are quick to dismiss the whole issue of the GNEs as negotiation tactics for the next round of DCA contracts rather than a serious alternatives to the GDS. I've moderated two panels over the last few weeks (Corporate Travel World in NYC and ACTE in Vancouver) on the subject. The battle lines have been drawn and the marketing spin machines are in full gear. The GDS are painting the issue as purely economic while the GNEs talk about new technology. My take is that they are both right. The primary issue is economic, while the underlying technology is able to deliver increased functionality at a lower cost. I still believe the GNEs are for real and will have an impact.
2) Meta-Search - fad or major shift in the online travel model? I tend to fall in the middle here. I do believe the meta search engines have a role to play and will add value to the consumer who normally shops multiple sites. The key to their success is content. Without total (or perceived total) content, meta-search will have a limited impact. Most interesting to watch in this space is Kayak who have (1) licensed the ITA software engine recognizing the need to lesson the burden on the infrastructure for fare quoting (2) introduced a developer network to allow specific micro-vertical apps to be created on top of the Kayak search technology. Interesting stuff...
Well that's it for now, but I will do my best to be more conscientious about writing at least a weekly blog entry...

9 comments:

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