ASATA has identified some of the latest technology that will help its agent members communicate and compete more effectively, and remain relevant.
ASATA dedicated almost a full week of its Recovery Summit to discussing advances in technology and examining how new technology can help travel businesses through the process of scaling their operations back up.
ASATA did not endorse any of the products presented; rather, it was a showcase to highlight some of the options on the market. Asata’s CEO, Otto de Vries, remarked: “If nothing else, the sessions will help members to think about where technology is going, and what it is businesses need to be doing, going forward.
De Vries said that developers had used the pause in travel during the pandemic to identify obstacles and challenges in the booking cycle and had gone off and built tools and solutions to satisfy those needs.
At least five different tech providers participated in ASATA’s members-only summit, using the platform to showcase their latest shopping, booking, quoting, reporting and communication tools.
“Never have I seen so much technology come out, specialised and fit-for-purpose, and pricing has been driven down. All of this is incredibly positive,” said de Vries.
He felt that, in general, travel businesses had been quick to implement new tools, but were expecting to see a return for their money spent. “The pandemic has fast-tracked a high level of automation and digitisation,” De Vries explained. “Those investments are going to need to start paying off. Choosing the right kind of technology and the pieces that are going to best support your business, (but are also going to free up your teams or provide support to your travellers, in order to better deliver value to that customer, that’s where we assisted ASATA members in Tech week.”
He reminded delegates of the need to target “quality customers” coming out of the pandemic and reiterated the need for restraint when shopping for new technology solutions. De Vries warned: “Be careful not to let the tail wag the dog.”