Digital Booking Sites

Travel Industry Still Looking for Its Own Amazon to Ease the Pain of Booking and More

Excerpt from TechCrunch

May 11, 2014 12:00 pm

Skift Take

The author, travel industry investor John Balen of Canaan Partners, describes the pain of travel booking, a problem that is so well-documented it could become a Big Data project in its own right. So much pain, so little progress.

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Felipe Dana  / Associated Press

In the future, travel companies may personalize services to automatically know that shopping is high on a traveler's wish list. Pictured, in this March 4, 2012 photo, Beatriz Cesari, left, and her friend Sylvia Schleier, from Sao Paulo, Brazil, look at watches as they shop in Miami, Florida. Felipe Dana / Associated Press

Not even the very first step of travel planning — the initial booking — is automated. And even still, it’s based on laborious manual research as we scour the Internet and review numerous different options for flights, hotels, rental cars, etc. Can we really trust booking services that tell us we’re getting the lowest possible price? ….

A new study by Amadeus IT Group, “At the Big Data Crossroads: turning towards a smarter travel experience,” is another encouraging sign that innovation is on the way, noting several case studies of hotels and travel services that are stepping up their analytics game. I look forward to the day when I can book a week-long trip to Paris through a travel bot that automatically gives me a window seat, books my hotel and makes a dinner reservation at my favorite restaurant in Montmartre. Big data can get us there.

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