Thursday, October 01, 2009

Global View

I am writing from Cannes, France where I gave a speech this morning on emerging technology trends that impact airline e-commerce. I represented PhoCusWright at the conference and I was able to draw on some great stats and trends from a number of PhoCusWright research pieces. This speech was for the Amadeus' airline e-commerce conference. Last week I was in Los Cabos, Mexico giving another speech for the Amadeus' LATM corporate travel leaders symposium. Tomorrow through Monday I am taking some time off and my wife who traveled with me to Southern France and I will explore the French Riviera.

I wanted to write briefly about the global perspective I have gained over the last 12 months. My work in Kuwait had me traveling to the Middle East once a month for the last year. Often I stopped in Europe on the return trip to either attend a conference or meet with a client. I have worked in Europe with different travel IT and software companies many who deal with airline customers. The Kuwaiti engagement tapped my corporate travel technology and leisure distribution experience.

There are a couple of points which all markets have in common:
1) Every segment of the travel value chain worldwide is under pressure from low cost competition. Whether its LCCs for the airlines, alternative or direct distribution for the GDS, or online competition for the TMCs, every sector needs to drive greater efficiency to lower costs.
2) Mobile technology is beginning to emerge as a major new battleground where traditional suppliers and distributors are being challenged by innovation from new market entries.
3) Airline Fare Families and the airline focus on ancillary revenue is here to stay. This is good news for the airlines who are really suffering. Fare families creates a more logical relationship between services and price.
4) Local Carries are a global phenomenon that is driving consumers in emerging markets online
5) Corporate travel trends are the same globally, the differences are around the level of maturity in the market. Latin America is a particular challenge as major airlines have pulled inventory out of the GDS in markets such as Brazil.
6) The global economy is beginning to rebound with travel increasing, but premium travel is still not near the levels from 2007.

I feel blessed that I have the opportunity to travel to such diverse places in the world and help a variety of customers market, build or purchase travel technology.

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The global economy is creeping back to life. The low end of the food chain though is still going to feel the pain of things long after the top has seen it pass.

The mom and pop travel agents, hotel managers, even port merchants I've worked with before, are trying to find new ways to boost their web presence. That will only put the pinch on those not online already.

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Excellent write up Norm.

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Anonymous said...

I agree, for the most part, but don’t you feel as if the issue is more complex than that?
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