Moderator Norm Rose, Senior Corporate Market and Technology Analyst at Phocuswright Inc., spoke with Greg Abbott, Director of Travel, Transportation and Hospitality at DataArt Solutions, Inc. and Tom Kershaw, Director of Product and Technology at Travelport, about the advances in the travel industry in terms of transformation, modernization and simplification of retail.
On personalization, Greg Abbott said, “We’ve got a long way to go before we get to [true] personalization, and a lot of it is because of the challenges posed by data.” “I don’t think we’ve gotten very far with the data.”
Tom Kershaw agreed: “We need to get unstructured data out of our industry, so we can use it in a structured way.”
Norm also brought up the concept of self-sovereignty, a term used to describe the digital movement that recognizes that an individual should own and control their identity. That would mean that people could choose what part of their identity they share and with whom.
Tom Kershaw said: “The problem with self-sufficiency is that we have to opt for it. [And actually, users don’t care.” When travelers try to book something and are met with “annoying” pop-ups on their screen asking questions about themselves, “people hit ‘ok’ as fast as they can. They don’t spend time creating a profile. We need the machines to do that.”