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Optimizing Travel Experience Through Continuous Innovation
By Demi Kavaratzis, Partner Marketing Director, Commercial Strategy and Services, Expedia Group
Travel and Tourism represents one of the world’s largest economic sectors. Reflecting 10% of global GDP it creates, drives exports and generates prosperity across the world, and it’s our core business at Expedia Group.
Our global portfolio of sites attract 750 million visits a month and we processed 50 billion flight searches in 2018, so we know a lot about how people search and book travel, including that they make up to 50 searches before deciding on a flight. We want to make that choice easier.
To deliver on that, we take a continuous approach to innovation and improvement, prioritising innovations, products and services that help make it simpler to book a trip.
Our consistently nimble approach to innovation in a dynamic travel landscape comes from a corporate culture that values innovation and an enduring commitment to being industry-leading. For more than 20 years we’ve harnessed the power of technology to make travel easier and we continue to invest in technology and innovation - $1.6 billion USD in 2018 - to help solve some of the hardest and most complex travel problems on the planet.
We also share our expertise to help to guide technical developments in the wider travel industry. For example, we’re an active participant with IATA’s technology teams, and since 2012 have helped inform, develop and improve a new set of technical standard for airlines and their distribution partners New Distribution Capability (NDC).The aim of our involvement is to ensure NDC delivers a seamless experience for travellers at every stage of their journey, from supply to distribution, payment, and customer service. We’re also evolving our technology in line with NDC capabilities across our platform.
This work will ultimately help provide better differentiation between airline brands, products, services and fare inclusions, with the long term opportunity of delivering richer content, more personalised air travel recommendations and an improved the process of selling and servicing air content.
Our goal is to be the leading technology provider in the industry and to develop tools and products with a partner and consumer-first mindset. We’re consistently testing new ways of serving partners and travellers, increasing our test velocity by 29x since 2010, and harnessing the power of machine learning and AI. We’re also exploring the application of new technologies including voice and chat apps to serve the travellers of tomorrow.