The Business Travel Magazine April/May 2019

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ARRIVALS

EVENT REPORT

Advantage Focus Partners

The detail is in the data

With Brexit banned from the agenda at

the Advantage Focus Partners recent

meeting, the emphasis was instead on

data sharing, market intelligence and

how it can be used to benefit TMCs and

their clients. Sasha Wood reports

The good, the bad and the ugly” of data

strategy in the travel industry was the main

topic of discussion at the Advantage Focus

Partners meeting held at the Park Plaza

Riverbank Hotel in London on April 1.

IATA’s Senior Manager for Business

Intelligence Projects, Juan Oliver, kicked off

with a presentation covering IATA’s Direct

Data Solutions (DDS) programme, an

aviation data hub currently in development.

He said IATA is in the unique position of

managing wide data sets across international

borders so the organisation is taking the

opportunity to create ‘data lakes’.

Combined with technology and business

knowledge, it could be a huge force for good

as a source of market intelligence for TMCs

and their clients. Discussing the challenge of

building data systems, he said “it becomes

ugly when we have home rules and

regulations across the globe”.

Travelogix CEO Chris Lewis, meanwhile,

took to the stage to talk about the IT

developer’s new Farecast tool aimed at

making it easier for TMCs to analyse airline

data. The data collection platform has

already been installed at 58 member

organisations, where commercial teams can

create different data sets to examine market

behaviour and make informed decisions.

Demonstrating the product, Lewis said:

“It gives you the organisation and data

required to give you the edge over your

competitors.” Mark Colley from Sunway

Travel, which has been trialling the tool, said

it has already been useful to the business.

The GTMC's CEO, Adrian Parkes, followed

up with a lively presentation on how TMCs

can use data to understand customers and

their needs, understand the competition,

and think beyond the transaction.

The data is an enabler. The value of the

data is not the data itself but what you do

with it,” he said. The overall message from

the afternoon was that TMCs need to

embrace data or risk being left behind.

FACTS & FIGURES

• $1.3 trillion: the value of

the business travel market

• 25,000: the number of

TMCs worldwide

• 2.2 billion: the number of

business trips booked a year

• 40%: the percentage

of trips booked

independently

WISE WORDS

“DON’T LET THE LIKES OF

GDPR, PCI AND ALL OF THE

OTHER BUZZWORDS SCARE

YOU OFF DATA. IT’S

ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL THAT

TMCs EMBRACE DATA AND

USE THE RIGHT PLATFORMS

TO CONSOLIDATE IT, ANALYSE

IT AND MAKE CHANGES”

CHRIS LEWIS, CEO, TRAVELOGIX

20TH ANNIVERSARY

Advantage Focus celebrated

its 20th anniversary with

an evening reception and

dinner for its TMC members

and partners at Altitude

London, high above the city

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM

19

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