Starting a travel agency few years back, was more dependent on the traditional travel model. Travel agents were more replying on the local inventory to sell to their internal contacts. Travel software were not much in use at that time. There were two main categories of agents, which were doing the travel business –
- IATA Travel Agents
- Non – IATA Travel Agents
In order to be an IATA travel agents, there were thorough process including the training, fee and detailed documentation. But it certainly gave the travel agents a solid background to start. IATA certification was need to access the GDS systems – Global Distribution Systems, which was the major source of travel contents worldwide.
Today things have changed alot. Most of the travel agents can access the contents of GDS systems as the Amadeus and all leading GDS are offering multiple access models (products & web services) to share the contents. With these accesses, the travel agents can connect to airlines, hotels, cars, packages and several other services.
Its been pretty interesting to see, how non IATA travel agents have increased the tractions using the travel portal development model, either by accessing the third party XML or by using the access from the existing IATA travel agent. The growing travel ecommerce have changed the equations of travel sales.
With booming low cost airline model also have increased the sales through travel ecommerce channels. Many leading low cost airlines, don’t offer 100% of the contents through the GDS systems but they have a major chunk open for travel ecommerce. Following are the models available for travel ecommerce.
- GDS / XML / API Integration
- Third Part Web Services Integration
- Affiliate Module
- White Label Module.
Next few quarters will be interesting to watch and many new airlines and low cost airlines are entering into new geographies and this is bound to create a huge change.
Growth Forecast for Travel Technology Solutions @ 7.9% CAGR till 2019.
Travel technology is growing rapidly worldwide on base of online travel software and GDS systems. Demand for travel portal development and OTA software is surging in all parts of world. Mobile devices are becoming the most preferred medium for using travel technology. Big data, analytic tools and social media are becoming the latest trend among travel technology companies.
Author is a travel technology expert and has been involved in several travel portal development projects.