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23 Sep 2015

BY Matthew Parsons

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World Routes 2015: Room for improvement to make travel tech seamless

Technology will have an enormous impact on travel in the years ahead, agreed a panel of experts at the World Routes Strategy Summit.

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But they also warned there are many challenges ahead before the seamless journey becomes a reality.

 

Booking a ticket in the first place still has room for improvement.

 

“Predicative analytics are not all they could be, often making an online search a frustrating experience”, noted Azim Barodawala, chief executive of Volantio.

 

Meanwhile, airline websites have low booking conversion rates from online visitors – usually less than 10% – and their lack of engagement is evident in the amount of noise in offers pushed to customers. What an airline website can do well is show the value of a product.

 

This isn’t always possible through indirect channels, such as travel agencies, resulting in the dominance of price-based decisions.

 

Once at an airport, the role of technology is evident even today and the panel debate highlighted that passengers expect complete control of a journey through a cell phone.

 

Ole Wieth Christensen, director of Airline Sales and Route Development, Copenhagen Airports, pointed out that “fully automated airports are not so far off for those passengers that want to travel that way”, but said that a basic ingredient must be perfected first: free Wi-Fi at airports.

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