Traveltainment has shed a little more light on its ongoing strategy refocus in the UK.
Bringing existing search and booking to the Apple iPad has seemingly opened up a world of opportunity to simply improve the user experience.
To coincide with the mammoth Tnooz Predictions 2010 article, Tnooz asked people around the industry to gaze into their own crystal balls to forecast some of the key developments for the next 12 months.
The final article in this five-part series features Andy Owen-Jones (chief executive of Traveltainment), Ben Jackson (chief executive of TourAbout) and airline consultant Al Lenza.
Amadeus and Fourth Dimension Software integrated some of their tour operator offerings and entered into a co-marketing pact that could give FDS a larger footprint in Europe and fill in some technology gaps for Amadeus.
And, oh yeah, the partnership could make things more efficient for tour operator customers, enable them to better package scheduled, charter and net-rate flights using the two companies’ integrated services, and provide them with broader options through TravelTainment’s multi-channel distribution platforms.
Several things drove the arrangement. TravelTainment provides a desktop solution and booking engine for tours, but many tour operators still are using decades-old technology for back-of-the house kinds of things such as inventory management, so there was a need to fill that gap. As Amadeus, like other GDSs, looked to diversify leisure offerings, it went looking for a tour technology partner.
GDS and travel technology supplier Amadeus is to place a major emphasis on providing inspirational tools and intuitive user experience for inclusion in third party websites.
Two projects have been developed within the Madrid-based giant â€“ at the Amadeus IT Group and leisure division Traveltainment â€“ and will be launched
Traveltainmentâ€™s system is currently being trialled by STA Travel in Germany and is a front-end search and booking platform for consumer websites.
A couple of Tnooz posts about Microsoft Surface have me reaching for the reality-check button.
The reason? Most travel agents, in the U.S. at least, still prefer to use DOS-like linear commands and time-worn scripts on their green-screen computers (the screen on Sabreâ€™s actually is blue, I believe) as their preferred user interface. GUIs? Nah, too inefficient.
So, TravelTainment is constructing a Microsoft Surface application for travel agents, and Sheraton apparently has one of the best Microsoft Surface applications in any vertical.
At some of Sheratonâ€™s U.S. locations, including the Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers and the Sheraton Boston Hotel, guests apparently can run their fingertips along those cool-looking Surface tables and book restaurants and map their car routes.
Forget for a moment the toe-curling commentary and soft-lighting in this promotion clip, many still consider this effort from Sheraton Hotels to be the best example of Microsoft Surface in action.
The reason? It combines all the concierge facilities that a typical hotel would include offline (at a desk, in other words) into a single interactive application.
TravelTainment, the Amadeus-owned technology brand, is well known for its focus on research and development – an area of the business championed by its enthusiastic chief executive, Andrew Owen-Jones.
Add Microsoft Surface into the mix and the result is a rather exciting interesting technology prototype for travel agencies.
TravelTainment purchased a Surface table earlier this year and started developing a number of applications over the summer.