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Incredible India – A land of many reasons where technology is shaping the future of travel

October 10, 2014

Published on Oct 10, 2014

By Hazem Hussein, Executive Vice President, Airline Commercial, Amadeus Asia Pacific

A colleague once said that traveling in India is an amazing experience where distances are measured in minutes and hours instead of kilometers.

"The only thing I managed to book and confirm before the trip was the hotel voucher," he said about his first visit to India. "The rest was an act of faith."

Yes, traveling in India can be exciting yet challenging, but I personallyTravel Daily Asia see this as a huge opportunity for the travel industry.

One of the ways to unlock this opportunity is through technology. It's what helps airlines and travel agents differentiate themselves and for travelers to enjoy a more seamless and personalized experience, from the time of booking and throughout the journey.

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) expects India to overtake Italy to become the world's ninth-largest business travel market within the next five years.

This is why we are seeing airlines and travel agents increasingly put technology at the heart of their offering.

Since the mid-2000s, India's air travel industry has been reshaped by the introduction of the low-cost carriers (LCCs). LCCs and full-service carriers have competed along the lines of comparative advantages – price versus service. But the business models have converged in recent years, with LCCs starting to offer more traditional features that are typical of full-service airlines.

This convergence brings a greater complexity to LCCs, which in turn drives a greater need for technology.

Last week AirAsia India joined a number of LCC carriers in taking a step toward a more traditional distribution model, adopting Amadeus' Light Ticketing technology. As they eye a greater share of the business travel market, LCCs are seeing the benefits of embracing alternative forms of distribution, including the travel agency channel.

Posting on the Amadeus Blog recently, European carrier Ryanair's CEO, Michael O'Leary, outlined a similar decision to move to this model:

"There was a time when it made sense for us to take advantage of the internet to establish low cost distribution via our own website. While will continue to be our primary means of distribution – we think the timing is right to bring travel agents back to play an important role in our distribution mix."

Vistara, India's newest full service airline, this week announced their partnership with Amadeus to implement the full Altéa Suite of technology solutions. This will allow them connect with other airlines and travel agents, as well as personalize their offering through the adoption of customer loyalty and e-commerce solutions for a consistent and flexible experience across computers and devices.

So, will my colleague go back to the land of the Taj Mahal? Of course! And each time he will find a more seamless, connected and personalized travel experience, thanks to technology.

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