Monday, October 15, 2018

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Tech up with Travel Forward at WTM London
October 2018 442

Travel Forward, the brand-new event co-located with WTM London, brings together innovative technology providers with senior executives in the travel industry. While Travel Forward is a technology conference, its agenda is primarily focused on the travelling customer: as travel providers look to transform using digital technologies, they increasingly recognise that it is about putting the needs and behaviours of customer first, with leading edge technology enabling new business opportunities in response.

Travel Forward manager, Richard Gayle, said, “Our goal is to turn the telescope around. Too often, technology-related events spend a lot of time evangelising the latest and greatest technologies, leaving customer and business needs as an afterthought. By putting the customer first, we can help travel organisations prioritise their resources and decide strategy from a business perspective, without getting lost in the technological weeds to no clear benefit.”

The conference starts as it means to go on with a keynote from Mike Croucher, head of technical strategy and chief architect of Travelport, showing how technology has the potential to change the world of travel and indeed, in some places it is already doing so. Mike will draw on a wide variety of examples to show how experiences, not bookings are the name of the game, and technology’s enabling role to delight the travelling customer.

"A new generation of travellers are looking for experiences and immediacy, not destinations and long-term bookings; meanwhile systems of intelligence are aggregating the traditional systems of record, connecting demand with supply and provision to need. The result is a profound change to both traveller behaviours and economic models across the travel industry,” said Croucher.

Immediately after the keynote, two panel sessions bring together senior decision makers working at the forefront of digital technology change for their organisations. The first explores the changing expectations of travellers, and the second discusses success stories in addressing new customer needs.

Following the plenary sessions, the conference splits into two tracks. The first focuses on the strategies, technologies and methods around customer experience, while the second looks from enabling technology platforms up, covering such aspects as blockchain and AI, and the impact of new technologies on distribution, integration and interoperability to support customer service delivery.  







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