Travel Forward focuses on customers using digital technologies

Wednesday, September 19, 2018


TF-GroupTravel Forward, the exciting new event co-located with WTM London, brings together innovative technology providers with senior executives in the travel industry.



While Travel Forward is a technology conference, its agenda is primarily focused on the travelling customer: as travel providers look to transform using digital technologies, they increasingly recognise that it is about putting the needs and behaviours of customer first, with leading edge technology enabling new business opportunities in response.



Travel Forward, Manager, Richard Gayle, said that their goal is to turn the telescope around. Too often, technology-related events spend a lot of time evangelising the latest and greatest technologies, leaving customer and business needs as an afterthought. By putting the customer first, they can help travel organisations prioritise their resources and decide strategy from a business perspective, without getting lost in the technological weeds to no clear benefit.



The conference starts as it means to go on with a keynote from Mike Croucher, Head of Technical Strategy and Chief Architect of Travelport, showing how technology has the potential to change the world of travel and indeed, in some places it is already doing so. Mike will draw on a wide variety of examples to show how experiences, not bookings are the name of the game, and technology’s enabling role to delight the travelling customer.



Croucher  said that  a new generation of travellers are looking for experiences and immediacy, not destinations and long-term bookings; meanwhile systems of intelligence are aggregating the traditional systems of record, connecting demand with supply and provision to need. The result is a profound change to both traveller behaviours and economic models across the travel industry.



Immediately after the keynote, two panel sessions bring together senior decision makers working at the forefront of digital technology change for their organisations. The first explores the changing expectations of travellers, and the second discusses success stories in addressing new customer needs.



Following the plenary sessions, the conference splits into two tracks. The first focuses on the strategies, technologies and methods around customer experience, while the second looks from enabling technology platforms up, covering such aspects as blockchain and AI, and the impact of new technologies on distribution, integration and interoperability to support customer service delivery.



To support its customer focus, Travel Forward is majoring on case studies and practical examples of where technology has made a tangible difference, delivering leading-edge customer experiences and new business models.



Richard Gayle also says that they want delegates to leave the conference thinking that they can not only understand what digital technologies can bring, but they also have the wherewithal to make a difference to their own organisations, based on the genuine experiences of their peers.



The conference also incorporates an quick-fire “unconference” in which new ideas for delivering customer and business value can be explored. A startup showcase competition will demonstrate the wealth of potential available to organisations that are prepared to innovate and take their businesses beyond traditional boundaries.



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