Travelport has announced its participation in EuTravel, an initiative to develop an online travel planning and booking service which incorporates a range of transport options.
EuTravel was set up in the middle of last year and aims to run for 30 months until October 2017. It was set up by, and has received financial backing from, Horizon 2020, the European Union's research and innovation programme.
The project has three core aims:
- To enable travel users to easily organise a pan-European multi-modal trip
- To provide multi-modal travel service provides with an easy and cost effective way to deliver their services
- To support policy decision making by contributing to the implementation of standards and regulations
Travelport's role will be to provide data through its API technology as well as help with the design and implementation of the pilot.
As well as Travelport, the project brings together a number of partners including Amadeus, Silverrail, Trenitalia and project coordinator Inlecom Systems.
Amadeus has announced involvement in multi-modal projects in the past including the European Commission's All Ways Travelling project which was to carry out an in-depth study on multi-modality and build a 'proof of concept' booking tool.
The company also partnered with UNWTO last year to develop a prototype for a multi-modal planning and ticketing service.
Concepts and prototypes are one thing but there is already a considerable amount of activity from startups and more established companies in the multi-modal space. The sector is clearly being taken seriously by investors with GoEuro receiving $45m in funding in December.
Companies already vying for attention also include Kelbillet, Kenavo, Routerank, Wanderio - to name a few.
And, multi-modal has also been gaining momentum across both business and leisure travel sectors.
Business travel specialists have been widening their offerings to enable door-to-door trip planning while flight metasearch players such as Liligo are, in turn, widening their services to include more transport options.
Meanwhile, existing multi-modal specialists have been busy building out their services with additional content. Distribusion and Rome2Rio have just announced a content integration partnership.
Where next is anybody's guess as the companies all try to find their niche and increase their businesses.