AMADEUS revealed it is developing solutions that will transform the way users search for travel, including one that harnesses motion sensor technology found on gaming devices.
Speaking to Asia-Pacific media at the Amadeus Executive Briefing Centre near Nice, Francois Laburthe, director, operational research & innovation, presented results from a recently commissioned study that showed the way travel bookings are being made is rapidly changing, with an increased emphasis on the search process.
“In the good old days, people would go direct to a travel (consultant) or airline or hotel chain to make their reservation. Now there’s a whole experience prior to purchase.
“This (means) players in the travel chain have to take into account not only the management of bookings but…the way they handle the shopping experience, how to display their products and enable easy comparison,” he explained.
Among the products demonstrated include a door-to-door search tool that will churn out address-to-address results combining various modes of transport required such as flights, trains, car rentals and even public buses and taxis. Prices can then be quoted to travellers and some segments will be bookable through Amadeus, with the entire itinerary available for storage on mobile devices.
The intent is to roll this out to all markets, and the solution is applicable for both leisure and corporate travel companies, said Laburthe, only confirming that the launch date was “soon”.
A separate solution that should become a commercial product this year is an iPad app that provides travel inspiration, he added.
Instead of the usual form-based requests, Travel Seeker relies on geo-location to display on a map flight prices from a traveller’s point of origin, destination activities and friends who have been there before via Facebook integration. Searches can then be refined to accommodate date selection and specific budgets.
This is already being showcased in the US to potential customers, and agreements are in place with OTAs to incorporate this technology while leisure agencies with a web presence can build their own version and load them onto the app store for their travellers to download. The solution could also allow non-Amadeus content to be pulled from other sources, said Laburthe.
The third innovation that is still a lab prototype is a new interface for travel search, using Microsoft’s Kinect device. Standing in front of a TV, travellers will be able to navigate using mere body movements.
“Games will become a future channel for e-commerce and the gaming industry is really large. The majority of gamers are no longer just teenagers or students,” said Laburthe.
- Read more about Amadeus’ growth in Asia-Pacific in TTG Asia August 10, 2012