The Travel Industry and Its NDC vs. Innovative Technology Companies

After showing our point of view on the advantages of IATA's NDC, we would now like to throw some last thoughts into the discussion.

Therefore we find it interesting to compare the travel industry with successful technology companies. Sounds interesting? Indeed, it is – as well as dangerous…

So first of all, what exactly do we think of technology? Well, we think technology should enable creative business models and not influence them. With the NDC as a new standard there will be more competition amongst the airlines and distributors, which should lead to declining prices and better customer service. With the no longer existing oligopoly, consisting of the three GDSs, and due to new search options, allowing travelers to personalize their flight not only by price but also by features, such as Wi-Fi and entertainment, more competition will result from the NDC. Furthermore boycotts like seen with Sabre and American Airlines would be more unlikely, which is very much appreciated.

We definitely think the technology is good enough, if not already too antiquated again, to let the travel industry start this journey. However we throw a very critical look at Google, Apple and other technology companies: In the past years they all made clear, that they have the ideas and the resources to run over the whole travel industry, by providing their own systems, which some of them have already patented. So should the travel industry just sit around and wait while watching them? We don’t think so!

If we compare this example to the past events in the music industry, now the travel industry is at a point where other industries seem to be one step ahead. You don´t remember? Let’s refresh our memory: The music industry was busy discussing Napster, downloads and stuff like that, while Apple’s iTunes just came across and turned everything upside down. Our suggestion therefore would be to really stop discussing whether XML, a now about 15 year old standard, should be implemented or not, but to finally look forward and give a special attention to the upcoming challenges.

Image by stockphoto mania

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