Friday 30 September 2022, JW Marriott Grosvenor
November 2022, Virtual
21 November 2022, Hilton London Metropole
David Jones, Amadeus's executive vp commercial, said he was “not losing a lot of sleep” over the arrival of the GDS new entrants, the GNEs.“The whole thing about GNEs is about the business model not the technology,” he told the PhoCusWright executive conference on Paris.“I call them limited distribution entrants because they are limited both geographically and technologically.“If an airline desires and believes it can change the business model, they could do it equally well with us as with the GNEs.”Commenting on the request for proposals members if the Star Alliance sent out to four GNEs in the summer, Mr Jones said: “If it is about seeing whether the Star Alliance can bring changes in the business model of the traditional GDSs, it is not something over which I will lose a lot of sleep.”But he also rejected the idea that GDSs and GNEs could be complementary.Earlier Mr Jones said that Amadeus and the other traditional GDSs needed to demonstrate their value to the airlines.“What else we have to do is to increase value not only on booking fees but also in allowing the brand transparency of the airlines to come through.”
PhoCusWright sound bites:
Richard Lovell, chief operating officer EMEA for Carlson Wagonlit Travel, said TMCs had to offer clients both self booking options for the 70% of journeys that were point to point and be able to handle the remaining 30% which were multi-sector and often also multi-modal. Despite globalisation, Mr Lovell said that Europe was still a series of markets with different demands in different countries and this would remain the case for several years.
Charles Petruccelli, American Express president of global travel services, said that the business travel industry and the TMCs had been shooting themselves in the foot for too long and they would not be able to sustain the current business model. The old model had gone but the new ones “shows little transparency,” he said. “People in the industry concentrate on the 3% that it costs for the TMC and ignore the other 97%.”
Tim Davis, Hilton International's senior vp commercial development and information services, said that while some of the hotel booking agencies were complementary to hotels, others “pose a real threat to our future success.” He said these had introduced a higher cost model and “did what ever makes them a profit.” Hotels need to change the way they sell themselves and Hilton had introduced a “flexible, floating rate to enable us to compete.”
David Radcliffe, ceo of Hogg Robinson, said that BTI was not an online agency. “That is only part of what we do. We are not even trying to force all booking online. What we do is appropriate for both client and supplier. Our job is to service buyer and supplier with maximum efficiency,” he said.