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Why Asia needs to lead the next era of travel technology innovation

Nurdianah Md Nur | June 22, 2016
We hear from Hervé Couturier of Amadeus IT Group on how the travel industry is evolving, what it takes for travel agencies to remain competitive and how open source is enabling innovation for the industry.

How do you see technology changing the landscape in the next five years?
We are in a frenzied era of disruptive innovation. Disruption has very quickly become the norm, with gadgets, apps and innovations seeming to appear overnight, immediately becoming something we cannot live without.
In the next five years, technology will continue to empower travellers with a more comprehensive and in-depth view of travel and the choices available. They will continue to have bigger voices and  influence, as well as better access to content and recommendations through mobile technologies and social media.

Traveller needs are at the centre of everything we do but technology will play the complementary role to support travellers' search for greater insights, advice and guidance in their travel choices.

As the travel industry continues its journey to becoming a truly traveller-experience driven sector, data and travel intelligence will continue to be the game changer. Big Data can unlock the opportunity to truly understand the traveller and make travel more personal, decrease travel stress throughout the travel cycle and improve operational effectiveness for the travel provider.

 How is Amadeus helping to foster innovation in travel technologies specifically Asia?
When it comes to innovation, we take on several approaches. We are a huge believer in R&D. As mentioned earlier, we have not only invested 16.6 percent of our total revenue in R&D since 2004, but we also have a strong presence here in APAC with R&D centres in Sydney and Bangalore.

Our culture of innovation also sees us 'doing things differently' beyond our commitment in R&D. To be truly innovative, it's about collaborating with our customers and partners. We take a partnership approach in working with our customers in APAC, investing in understanding their business, their customers, and their operating landscape. When it comes to travel technology here in Asia, we create solutions in collaboration with them that are customised to their needs. This approach has helped us reach our leading position with airlines and travel agents in the region.

For example, Amadeus' partnership with Perth Airport saw a complete renewal of check-in system technology at the airport with the implementation of Amadeus Airport Common Use Service (ACUS), a cloud-based technology benefitting the airport as well as airlines and travellers.

Another example is our work with Qantas and our Travel Intelligence Solution, Amadeus Schedule Recovery, which minimises disruptions to operations caused by external events such as bad weather or air traffic control congestion. Amadeus Schedule Recovery serves as a recommendation engine, using data analytics to help quickly and efficiently identify the most critical issues, and act upon them.

Other key recent projects in Asia include the Korean Air and TOPAS cutover to the Amadeus system, allowing the airlines to provide travel partners and customers better booking experience, and the implementation of Amadeus' digital design services to create a modern, responsive portal for Cathay Pacific.

 

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