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Future of travel commerce

Apr 11 2016 17:56
Carin Smith

Dallas – Due to the growing demand among consumers for self-service, increasing app sharing can be expected, according to Gordon Wilson, president and CEO of Travelport, a travel commerce platform.

He spoke to Fin24 at the recent global summit of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).

In 2015 Travelport transacted a total of $80bn on behalf of the travel and tourism industry. This included 120 million airline tickets sold, 65 million hotel nights sold and 85 million car rental days sold.

In South Africa Travelport processes about 70% of transactions by travel agencies.

“In Southern Africa we see that even during periods of a weak rand – like currently – South Africans still travel – maybe just to different places, including domestically,” Wilson told Fin24.

As for the business to business (B2B) aspect of the travel and tourism industry, Wilson said fraud is a big challenge for businesses. That is why Travelport’s E-Nett programme – a one time card use system based on virtual account numbers (VANs) helps to replace the risks brought by onward payments for travel and tourism companies.

In Wilson’s view the greater move to mobile and better apps would be future trends. The use of virtual wallets would also help to manage companies’ expense accounts and make business payments more efficient.

According to Timothy Enstice, director of corporate communications planning at Sabre, there is an increased focus on not only improving the “aesthetic” side of B2B software, but also to improve the efficiency thereof. This then brings B2B software to the same grade as consumer software.

“Our customers are always keen to make their workers more productive. We are also using data to better inform our customers to make decisions,” he told Fin24.

• Fin24 was a guest of the WTTC at its global summit.

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