Views on Travel Innovation, Part 1

Yesterday I spoke at the Open Travel Alliance’s Forum on the topic of innovation in consumer travel.  This post summarizes the major factors influencing travel innovation, and the  top innovations in consumer travel from the last two decades.  In my next post, I’ll give some views on where we can expect to see more innovation, and how the industry landscape may change. Continue reading

Review: AirPlus Data Reporting Tool

Credit card data is not the best source for airline sourcing projects.  I’ve said this for a long time (for example, here), but was challenged (nicely) by Jacques Lionnet at AirPlus to take a fresh look at AIM, the AirPlus Information Manager (AIM) tool.

Bottom line:  The AIM tool captures excellent airline data and is easy to use, but it has a few shortcomings that prevent it from delivering ready-to-source air spend reports.  These flaws (described below) should be easy to eliminate, and I suspect AirPlus will do so soon. Continue reading

Better RFPs for Meetings via SpeedRFP

This looks like it will be a very useful tool:  SpeedRFP is creating a standard platform for populating and managing RFPs for hotel meetings and events.  Any buyer who needs to get quotes from several hotels will appreciate this. Continue reading

Pre-Trip Approval Done Right

Here’s a success story that fits well with Procurement’s role in managing travel costs.

Business Travel News describes how Deloitte achieved huge savings from implementing a pre-trip approval system.   So what, you say?  How hard can it be to turn off the travel spigot, right?  That is indeed the blunt axe approach that many companies have taken in order to reduce travel costs.  Fortunately, Deloitte is much smarter than that, and we can learn from them.  Highpoints are: Continue reading

Social Scanning, Fuzzy Shopping and More Travel Innovations

**Update: The four finalists are noted below in bold purple text.**

The Phocuswright Travel Innovation Summit showcased 34 firms yesterday. Each has an interesting new angle on some aspect of the travel business. For me, the firms in the social scanning and fuzzy shopping categories were the most intriguing.  See this post for my take on the implications for travel procurement. Continue reading

What’s Next in Travel Innovation?

Today I watched 34 firms pitch their innovations at a major travel industry conference. Nearly all were aimed at the leisure travel segment, but keep reading…because innovations in the consumer market will shape the face of business travel. Continue reading

Top 5 Posts – Last 40 Days

Here are the five most popular posts on this blog from the last 40 days:

  1. Trippy – Tomorrow’s Biz Trip Planning Tool? (Trippy is a mash-up of Google Wave, Google Maps and Lonely Planet content)
  2. Travel 101 (a 4-minute video introduction to the travel category, and four posts covering Travel Data 101)
  3. Travel Procurement’s Fighting Words (started by a slam against using procurement principles in the travel category)
  4. Future Innovations in Airline Distribution – Condensed (a summary of problems and  innovations needed in the airline distribution channel)
  5. Why Travel Disses Procurement (explains the friction found between travel and procurement staffs and what to do about it)

I’m surprised that two of these posts don’t relate directly to travel procurement (“Trippy…” and “Future Innovations…”).  You’re saying it’s OK to cast a wider net in terms of topics.  Cool.  I’ll continue to bring in this type of content from time to time.  What else would you like to see here?

“Future Innovations in Airline Distribution” Condensed

Here are the highlights from my recent presentation at CASMA titled  “Future Innovations in Airline Distribution”.   The original deck has about 50 slides, but because it was designed for a live 60-minute speech, it’s hard to get the meaning of many of the slides (nearly all pictures) by themselves.  So here’s the 3-minute version:

Channels have limits.

Channels Have LimitsDistribution channels are essential to commerce, but they have limits.  The Panama Canal has to build wider locks to accommodate the newest and largest cargo ships.  This is a metaphor for the GDS distribution channel, as it cannot handle the “wider” content that airlines want to distribute today.

blank

bl Continue reading

The Future of Airline Distribution

***

Update: Here’s a more current post that gives you the 3-minute condensed version of this presentation, including the most popular slides.

***

Here’s what I presented today at the CASMA conference: Continue reading

Google’s “Social Search” and Travel

Google is shaking up the travel world again.  I caught this article on Tnooz, just before heading down to the CASMA conference sessions.  That’s on hold until  can get my mind wrapped around this new tool.

Called Social Search, Google taps into your social networks (but only with your permission) to find out what your friends think about whatever search term you’ve entered.   It works with any topic, not just travel.  But for now, think of it as TripAdvisor meets LinkedIn. Continue reading