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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY


Amadeus & WTM Travel Experience Awards


The Amadeus & WTM Travel Experience Awards are being staged for the first time in 2013, with the winners being announced on Wednesday during WTM. The event presents the perfect global stage for these awards as it is at the cutting edge of travel trends and industry excellence.


Amadeus is the leading provider of advanced technology solutions for the global travel and tourism industry, acting as a worldwide network connecting travel providers, travel agencies and travellers. It facilitates and plays an integral role in shaping the future of travel experiences demanded by the 21st century traveller, and WTM is delighted to collaborate with Amadeus this year.


These inaugural Amadeus and WTM Travel Experience Awards aim to recognise best-in-class travel suppliers who are defining and evolving the new standards for the travel industry, to better service and deliver the 21st century travel experience.


The awards show how the travel industry has evolved, offering ever increasing choice and


wide-ranging experiences to the modern-day traveller. The nominations were judged in September by a panel of industry experts and the winners will be announced at WTM on Wednesday 6 November, in the Travel Tech Theatre at 16.30-17.30.


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Every winner will have the choice of hosting a press visit by the WTM official video crew (two people in total) to film, edit and create a vlog (video blog) for use on the WTM website, social media and via WTM Media Partners. The winner will also be provided with the vlog for their own use.


Open Destinations reaching a global audience at The Travel Tech Show at WTM


Open Destinations, a UK-based provider of software and services for the travel industry, will be exhibiting at the new Travel Tech Show at WTM this year.


Open Destination CEO, Kevin O’Sullivan, believes there is ‘pent-up demand’ from the industry for new travel technology following on from reduced technology spending during the global financial downturn. “The Travel Tech Show at WTM gives us access to not only a truly international customer base but also to the decision-makers within the organisations,” he said. “We have performed well during the recession, and the signs are that there is five years’ worth of pent-up demand for new travel technology platforms about to be unleashed.”


The company has recently upgraded its flagship product – Travel Studio – and is looking to build on its current customer base, made up of around 90 travel companies in 30 countries. Travel Studio is a reservation system which works as both a B2B and B2C system. Current customers include TUI Travel, Abercrombie & Kent, and Gullivers Sports Travel.


The upgrades released as part of the second version include a deeper integration with the GDSs from where Open Destinations can source fares and inventory for component-based itineraries. It also links to Multicom, which has access to low-cost carriers and other non- GDS content. This is made possible by using an API (application programming interface) technology. This allows third parties to access suppliers’ inventories but also facilitates integration with other technologies.


“This will allow our customers to move their online presence to a new level,” O’Sullivan said. “It provides a future-proof and scalable way for our platform to integrate with websites and e-commerce applications as well as with reporting tools and other back-office functionality.”


The business was founded in 1999, developing its first e-commerce product in 2001. It now has an office in London and a development centre in Goa. It employs some 300 people, around one-third of whom are developers. Since the global slowdown in 2008, Open Destinations has seen 20% year-on-year growth.


As the business grows, Open Destinations has made a number of key appointments, many of whom will be attending The Travel Tech Show at WTM. Most recently, Lisa Sykes was named head of business analysis, bringing 19 years’ experience from wholesaler GTA. Another GTA veteran – Brian Mebourne – joined Open Destinations as senior vice president of technology last year. More information from www.opendestinations.com


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