Web In Travel: Ground Transportation - Amadeus and Partners Make it Easier to Catch the Bus
By Corinne Wan – April 5, 2017
TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY: SABRE REDESIGNS ONLINE BOOKING TOOL GETTHERE, OPTIMISED FOR ROAD WARRIORS
According to Sabre, the enhancement came after “hundreds of qualitative usability research sessions to evaluate what travellers and travel managers want and need out of an online booking tool.”
The ‘new’ GetThere features a simplified and responsive design, fully optimised for travellers on the go; an intuitive booking workflow powered by Sabre’s technology that is accessible and consistent on any device – desktop, tablet, and smartphone; Sabre’s air merchandising capabilities to support airlines’ branded fares with existing travel policy.
Travel managers and travellers have access to more content and the ability to differentiate various fare offerings from airlines including branded fares.
Additionally, for travel managers there are more options to use fare rules to identify Out-of-Policy fares and control whether certain flights are displayed within the search results.
Business travellers, on the other hand, have access to the full breadth of available fares offered by the carrier, beyond lowest airfare, at the touch of their fingers.
“Today’s business traveller wants the convenience of self-service solutions. Our new traveller-centric design in GetThere puts the user first with new mobile capabilities and relevant content that’s essential for a smarter travel program,” said Wade Jones, interim president of Sabre Travel Network.
GROUND TRANSPORTATION: AMADEUS AND PARTNERS MAKE IT EASIER TO CATCH THE BUS
Distribusion, a global distributor (GDS) for airport shuttle and intercity bus rides, brings over 300 airport bus transfer and intercity bus operators in 2,500 destinations to Amadeus’ travel seller network.
Currently only Amadeus travel sellers in central, eastern and southern Europe are able to access Distribusion bus content, but more across the world expected to join soon.
Julian Hauck, founder and CEO of Distribusion, said: “Travel sellers are paying more attention to bus travel to continue enriching their offer to travellers, and have been longing to add this kind of content in a simple, standardised and effective way for some time.”
The partnership with reservations and ticketing management (RTM) technology provider, Betterez, allows bus operators to better sell, manage and promote their offer both in their direct channels, as well as on Amadeus’ travel seller network.
Betterez’s founder and CEO, Tal Shalit, said the company’s partnership with Amadeus would “help the bus market reach the next level of growth and innovation.”
Antoine de Kerviler, head of rail & ground travel at Amadeus, added the new partnership would enhance travelling by bus, which is an attractive choice for many.
“Imagine booking a convenient airport bus transfer on top of your flight and a weekend getaway by rail – all on the same itinerary through your travel retailer – this is door-to-door travel at its best.”
CORPORATE: NEW MANAGEMENT TEAM AT FCM TRAVEL TO SPEARHEAD EXPANSION IN ASIA
FCM Travel Solutions has restructured it management team, whose members took on their new roles on Aprl 1, as part of the company’s move to leverage regional expertise and accelerate growth in the Asian region.
Heading the team is Bertrand Saillet as general manager, Asia, corporate. Previously the general manager for Southeast Asia, he now oversees sales and marketing, account management and operations across the region.
Others in the restructured team are Carlo Bezoari and James Ellis as sales director for Southeast Asia and North Asia respectively, Shaun Clear and Caroline Kerr as operations director for Southeast Asia and North Asia respectively, Joanna Patterson as account director Asia, and Agnes Heng as marketing director Asia.
FCM said in a statement that as this new structure focuses on strategic business alignment in Asia, it will be able to leverage on shared technology and expertise to deliver travel management solutions to its customers.
It will also implement more customer-focused technology in Asia. One such initiative is the introduction of SAM, FCM’s voice-assisted chat bot. This will be rolled out simultaneously across Greater China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore in the next few months.
“SAM is a revolutionary pocket travel assistant that is designed to deliver a better travel experience by sending through information based on context, relevance and individual preference which in turn delivers to customers an even more personalised touch to their business travel,” is how FCM described the bot.
FCM’s new management structure comes against the backdrop of a broader change within Flight Centre Travel Group (FCM is a brand under the group). David Fraser, managing director Greater China (mainland China and Hong Kong) business is now managing director Asia (excluding India), while former managing director for Southeast Asia, Suyin Lee, assumes the same position in Buffalo Tours DMC.
HOTELS: ‘HANDY’ KEEPS YOU CONNECTED IN BANGKOK
Many hotels are giving free mobile phones to travellers as part of their marketing strategy to fill rooms, as well as to keep guests connected and happy.
The latest property to jump on to the mobile bandwagon is Anantara Siam Bangkok. It is offering all guests a complimentary in-room smartphone named, ‘handy’, to keep them connected to the happenings in the city, as well as with family and friends back home.
handy is set up in every guestroom and offers a personal phone number, unlimited free local and international calls to 10 countries (list can be amended to guest’s needs), unlimited free mobile internet on 4G network, WiFi-hotspot tethering, hotel information and access to the hotel concierge while on the go.
Event organisers can deliver message notifications about itinerary updates, exclusive hotel offers or private messages to their participants staying in the hotel. Anantara Siam said it is “the only hotel in Bangkok to offer such a complimentary service.”
The device is also preloaded with travel apps such as currency conversion, maps, GPS, news and translation services, and a digital city guide with recommendations and promotions for restaurants, shops and tourist attractions.
In case the guest is lost in translation on the way back to the hotel there is a taxi card feature, which details the hotel’s address written in Thai with a location map.
The management assures guests, who may be wary of privacy issues, their browsing history on handy, any additional installed apps and all personal information are automatically removed and the device is reset when they check out.
• Featured image credit: LDProd/iStock