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Digital transformation in the travel industry

Great challenges await tour operators in 2016 The digital transformation and an extremely complex market environment with some conflict areas in popular vacation destinations make for a year of great challenges for the travel industry. But it

Great challenges await tour operators in 2016

The digital transformation and an extremely complex market environment with some conflict areas in popular vacation destinations make for a year of great challenges for the travel industry.

But it is not only the digital transformation. Issues like competitive pressure, price wars, unavailable bed capacity in popular destinations, discovering and establishing new destinations, sales channels and customer segments, battle for commissions, online booking platforms, neglecting over-the-counter sales by agencies, dwindling customer loyalty, new online technologies especially in mobile marketing also a lot of disruptive business models and new CEPs (Category entry points) will receive considerable attention in 2016.

This list could possibly be further extended. In 2016, there will be many new trends and developments in online business that will permanently change the market. Not all of them would have such a success story like Airbnb but they will intensify the fight for market share and bookings.

Of course, the current crisis areas have a large influence on the success. Countries like Greece are slowly recovering, however marketing holiday destinations like Turkey, Tunisia, Egypt or even Morocco is becoming increasingly difficult.

Due to the health risks, countries in South America are being added. In the wake of this development, Spain would not know what to do with all the visitors which of course would increase the prices. Italy should also finally see a boom.

One thing is certain: for the travel industry there will be a big change in the years 2016/2017.

The digital transformation changes the tour operators’ processes

Software for the travel industry

Decentralised way of working through suitable software solutions, offline or online is also changing the travel industry in 2016. An example of this is the back-office solution teamSolution® Travel.

The massive and quick changes in the area of destinations make planning and buying even more difficult. This market development will continue to intensify. And here, the digital transformation is already having an impact.

The problem is that many process have to run in the background in order to make a hotel bed or flight even bookable. These run partially quite traditionally or are operated with software solutions that cannot meet the demands of digitisation.

For example, hotel contracts are still made based on Excel documents. The information contained therein often go through various manual processes until the hotel can be booked for the guest. The integration of new software solutions will become mandatory, if the tour operator wants to prove themselves in the digital age.

And of course, this requires a mentality change for the employees. The tour operator’s work environment will continue to change and to be digitalised.

These two described environments alone demand extreme product strategy, marketing, innovation speed and risk-taking from tour operators.

Innovative back-office software solution for tour operators

A software developer from Berlin, who has been occupied with software solutions for the travel market for over 15 years, will introduce at the upcoming ITB 2016 (March 9 – 13) in Berlin a new generation of their teamSolution® Travel. With this back-office software for controlling, administrating and managing, a tour operator’s 360° process is covered – from contract to booking.

The architecture of the teamSolution® Travel software with various modules is especially clever. Thus, the scope and function of the operator can be met. The most important modules are for contracts, calculations, product, special offers and last minute offers, media and object data, the automated production of price tables as well as the connection to booking platforms and publishing systems.

Some highlights of teamSolution® Travel:

  • Significant reduction of the time-to-market factors! New products and off season offers can be booked faster
  • Decentralised way of working, online and offline
  • Unique WBS BLANK solution as well as interfaces to further booking systems
  • Avoidance of media disruption or multiple manual operation steps
  • Managing workflow and extensive reporting options

With this new software, tour operators are getting a comprehensive solution for the challenges of the digital transformation. They can react with greater flexibility and quickly on the market and make deals for a changing booking behaviour.

The “a-team” is a company founded in 1997 in Berlin for individual software development. Over the years, the software boutique has focused on the travel market in the trendy Berlin district of Friedrichshain. Today, the unit belongs to Winkler & Stenzel GmbH and works for renowned tour operators like Ameropa, TUI, Thomas Cook, Schauinsland Reisen, Air-Berlin Holidays, Luxair Tours or Hamburg Tourism.

Further information about teamSoltuion® Travel can be found on the “a-team” website, at the world largest tourism fair ITB in Berlin from March 9-13 (Hall 5.1, Stand 105), or via Info-Mail to the Brand-Nomads.

Holger Ambroselli has worked in brand and strategy development as entrepreneur and consultant for many years. His international experience and knowledge in intercultural brand management have made him a sought-after strategy thinker, keynote speaker and brand coach. He is also one of the drivers behind ‚Sam’s Strategy Kitchen‘, which supports a company’s transformation by creating customer and business value through experience design innovation.