Jeroen Van Velzen, Roadmap
"You can’t talk to a millennial or Gen Z-er and show them what the GDS looks like without them kind of laughing at you and saying 'what?'"
Quote from Suzanne Boyan, operations coordinator for travel at consulting firm ZS Associates, in an article on PhocusWire this week about trip leakage.
Each Friday, PhocusWire dissects and debates an industry trend or new development covered on our site that week.
"It’s just mind boggling to them" - how the younger generation of travelers sometimes view the technology that helps get them to a destination.
It's a fair point.
Travel agency green screens are the most obvious culprits to trigger such eye-rolling reactions.
They do obviously look clunky, pre-internet, something from an age when computers had the attractive qualities of bricks (no offence to bricks, of course) and were often as heavy.
But the process and the famed, quick key-stroke operations that agents use(d) to move around the screen and functions worked - and worked well.
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The global distribution systems that provided the core technology behind such platforms were quick to see the changes needed at an interface level.
Travelport, for example, introduced an agent system that combined the key-stroke systems with mouse-based tools, in a bid to reflect the modern interfaces that people have in their daily computer use. Sabre had the Red platform, etc.
The apparent disdain that younger generations might have towards old tech perhaps speaks to the perception that interfaces and functions should be overhauled in a revolutionary way, just because they can be.
This idea is often extended elsewhere around a world of travel that has countless examples of new companies that spearheading innovation and changes in business models, yet co-exists alongside older, still successful businesses.
Revolutions are dramatic and exciting. And incredibly rare.
Evolution, on the other hand, usually allows all sides to progress and change over time. It also generally ensures there is stability for both customers and everyone else involved in the ecosystem.
There is no correct way, of course - but evolution should be still considered as a sensible option by those who are quick to question why things are still done in certain ways.
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