Name one thing NDC will change for the better?
NDC will finally offer personalisation and pricing transparency. This will be one of the biggest outcomes for business travellers and travel managers that will lead to a better experience and savings.
When it comes to business travel, what keeps you awake at night?
Honestly, for us, it has been the thinking and the acceptance of the status quo. No one seems to want to challenge the industry, the economics behind the relationships and why things continue to be the way they are? We want an experience as if we are in 2019 but the backend and technology is still legacy driven from the 70s.
What innovation will make the biggest impact on travel management in the next 12 months?
Whoever builds the railroads will win tomorrow. Building the railroads requires people to step back and really evaluate what will it take to challenge and disrupt the legacy technology stack of today that is not capable of scaling to the demands of the next-generation traveller. The API integrations, the service offerings and rich content and transparency. Whoever brings this in a single solution to the client will WIN.
How will business travel look in 2022?
Business travel is going to be fuelled by growth and innovation over the next 24 months. You will see as the airlines invest in technology and distribution, personalization play an active role. Besides growth you will see new companies will have a chance to create new experiences for travellers giving them access to more services at the finger tips. Technology is evolving and the difference is people are thinking of building solutions outside the traditional legacy technology stack which has been the GDSs.
How will managing business travel look in 2022?
Travel managers and traveller demands are shifting from product and services to relationships. Managing programs of 2020 and beyond will require companies to step up and invest in technology and offerings that will help them manage business travel needs that besides growth are going to be driven by various non-traditional channels. We anticipate it only becoming more complex and in turn more challenging. Those who are investing in technology today will be at the fore front of this revolution and will win the customer of tomorrow.
How will the business traveller look in 2022?
The business traveller of 2020 will be someone who will interact with the online channel (web/mobile) first when it comes to travel vs the traditional email/phone channel. Will be extremely tech savvy and will rely on companies that provide a single tech stack solution that let him/her operate seamlessly.
How will we, as an industry, best survive the next three years?
The way forward will be for TMCs to truly embrace technology and realize that to compete for today’s traveller, they will have to develop an agile bent of mind. If it is not going to be technology first you will struggle to take care of the demands of the customer of tomorrow.
What will buyers learn from your session?
We are hoping the key takeaway about NDC is that finally someone is willing to challenge the existing distribution paradigm that has supported the industry for so long. As much as they have helped, they have made us complacent. Now you can truly put the customer first at the heart of your solution and deliver a superior experience.
What drives you mad about corporate travel? What would you put in Room 101?
What frustrates me most is the legacy technology stack that the industry has been operating on for the last few years. When questioned I have been told this is just how it is. That has never made any sense to me. Which is why we are bent on challenging the way things are being done.
Sarosh Waghmar is the founder and CEO of WTMC. He is a panellist on ‘NDC – Will travel buyers win or lose?’ on 20 February at 14:30 - 15:30. To secure your free ticket to Business Travel Show, please visit www.businesstravelshow.com