Phocuswright on Technological Innovation in Tourism

by usuario4 usuario4 - 13 July, 2017

Phocuswright on Technological Innovation in Tourism

If there’s a company that encourages research involved in connecting travelers with suppliers and intermediaries, it’s Phocuswright. 

The main focus of Phocuswright Europe 2017 was technology and innovation in the travel industry.

According to Simon Lehmann, head of Phocuswright: “Distribution remains a key element for our industry, there is no difference between OTAs and metasearch engines. Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat have the power to change the landscape … “ Hence, it’s clear that competitiveness has a technological base that needs to be harnessed.

One of the highlights of the event was keynote speaker Peter Verhoeven, EMEA Managing Director of Verhoeven mentioned a series of technologies and trends that is paying special attention to:

  • The importance of a mobile strategy.

  • Voice searches and chatbots

  • Guest experiences in large cities

  • Disruptive marketing approaches

  • The rise of online distribution


One of the most interesting talks about virtual assistants was given by Paul English, founder of travel startup Lola and former co-founder of Kayak. Lola is a technology company that aspires to launch an app that will act as a personal travel concierge. Lola will be driven by artificial intelligence, helping it learn traveler preferences over time to help travelers deal with unexpected emergencies. Lola combines machine learning with a team of human travel agents to plan, book and manage members’ travel needs through a chat-based interface.

Brandie Wright, Phocuswright Analyst:  “Social media is becoming a tool for the entire travel lifecycle: inspiration, buying and outreach.”

Simon Breakwell, a member of the Microsoft team that created the global OTA 20 years ago, offered intriguing insight into different aspects that could change the future of distribution:

  • Technology like Amazon’s Alexa can anticipate Google’s model results through other types of devices.

  • Facebook and the tools associated with social selling will gain a great importance in the tourism industry.

  • Real-time personalization of the product is enhanced by advanced calculation tools.

  • Airbnb’s excellent branding strategy has positioned it above chains with many years of demonstrated experience.

  • Mobile technology has revolutionized how we interact with each other.

At the event,Phocuswright Europaannounced and awarded the winners of its design project competition associated with tourist innovation. Twelve innovators  presented groundbreaking applications that will transform the future of the travel industry.

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