Emerging technology and digital innovation in the travel industry were front and center in Dallas this week, as executives gathered for the 10th annual “The Beat Live” conference, featuring travel industry executives representing airlines, hotels and travel management companies.
Sabre CEO Sean Menke kicked off the first day of sessions with a keynote highlighting the continued growth of low-cost carriers and downward pressure on airline pricing, factors driving new technology in the travel space. One major takeaway was Menke’s commitment to leverage the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) New Distribution Capability (NDC) in ways that benefit both airlines and travel agencies – and ultimately, the consumer.
The dual role of answering the needs and concerns of both airline and travel retailer stood out for travel industry expert Caroline Strachan, who tweeted, “Sabre takes NDC mainstream addressing both airline and agency need. Nice.”
George Bryan, manager of distribution strategy for WestJet, tweeted, “It’s nice to see Sabre supporting NDC.”
Tnooz noted this development was a change for Sabre, which “was one of the major – and most vocal – opponents of NDC when it was first introduced in 2013. But times have changed.”
On another point, Yapta CEO James Filsinger tweeted about the “changing airline revenue landscape” described in Menke’s keynote, which showed the clear growth of ancillary sales per passenger. During the keynote, Menke noted: “NDC started the public conversation about building out a new level of technology standards that enable airlines to offer more customized products and services, indicative of the branded fares, ancillary services and digital retailing trends that characterize air travel today.”
Menke described some of the ways Sabre is currently delivering on this mission. Most notably, he talked about a new innovation team and demonstrated a tenacious leadership spirit. “We have no intention of giving up the technology leadership role we have played historically,” said Menke during the keynote.
Find out more about Sabre’s commitment to leading the development of next-generation distribution and retailing solutions, as well as embracing change, here.