03 June 2010

Agents Can Breathe a Little Easier, For Now! But They Must Keep Up - Amadeus Survey.

Amadeus has just released a survey of 800 North American Travel Agents.

I highly recommend that you download it from here.

Focusing on Technology - the answers are pretty obvious. The Facebook juggernaut continues on apace with the agent community. Here is what Amadeus had to say about the survey:

The second trend focuses on the increased role of technology throughout the journey, from the trip planning phase through arrival back home. Travel professionals feel additional opportunity exists for technology to further improve the travel experience in areas including researching the trip (64.6%) and finding pricing/availability information (55.8%). They also expect next-generation travelers to get more "social." Social networking (47.5%) tops the list of what travel agents feel will have the greatest impact on how tomorrow’s travelers research and book travel, followed by user generated reviews (19.8%). Agents are responding to social media’s rise, with more than half (55.7%) indicating that they or their agencies are active in online social channels.

I would think that there is a fair degree of "keeping up with the Joneses" in the agent responses.

It is clear that technology is still a game the agents have to play whether they like it or not. But as the companion survey conducted in Ireland shows:

...the Amadeus survey also showed that agents felt improved travel technology systems were allowing them to spend time being more attentive to customers. But some 54% of leisure agents and 82% of business travel agents said further automation of back office tasks could speed up the time it takes to do them by a quarter.

The Professor's opinion is that this represents the dilemma of most agents. They have to invest in technology to maintain a competitive position. But the true cost of provisioning either from the GDS or 3rd parties is just going higher and higher. Their GDS are not keeping up. My team already estimates than more than 60% of all GDS sourced PNRs are touched by a third party technology system.


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