Technology

Travo Summit Preview: The travel tech cycle turns driven by rising customer expectations

Posted by Lee Hayhurst on
Travo Summit Preview: The travel tech cycle turns driven by rising customer expectations

Lee Hayhurst caught up with Zolv’s Olly Wenn ahead of his appearance on a travel technologists panel at this year’s Travolution Summit in September

Travel firms are looking to re-platform their businesses to meet rising consumer expectations amid increasing product complexity, according to a leading travel tech software developer.

Olly Wenn, managing director of Leeds-based Zolv, said it currently feels like the sector is at the end of a technology cycle and websites launched around 2012 are now in need of updating.


Zolv’s Olly Wenn is a speaker at this year’s Travolution Summit being held in London on September 12. He will join a panel of fellow techies that will offer a coalface insight into the world of software and website development in the travel industry. Purchase your delegate place here


 

He said this is being driven by a more demanding consumer who no longer accesses the internet by searching for websites, but who uses sites like Facebook and Instagram on mobile and apps.

Wenn said this means that all travel firms face rising consumer expectations about what they can do on their digital devices and the quality of the content delivered to them.

“We are seeing more people coming to us wanting to re-platform their businesses. Whatever decisions they made four, five, six years ago, it’s now time to think again,” said Wenn.

“It feels like we are at the end of a tech cycle. There was a real spurt around 2012/13 when there was a huge amount of stuff being done, but sites launched then are now coming around for renewal.

“What we were doing back then was pretty innovative, but now it’s just the norm. Expectations of what is the basic level are considerably higher than they were.

“It used to be that people went online and surfed the web. No one surfs the web anymore, they just sit on their phone and look at Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.”

Wenn said along with this changing consumer digital behaviour, demand for more tailor-made, bespoke holiday experiences has seen the product side become more complicated.

“You need better tools on the backend, better content management, better integration with the suppliers of components,” he said.

“There is this increasing complexity, even within similar package products, because product is coming from more and more sources.

“The individual product themselves are not getting any more complex, but the market is getting more sophisticated and so you have to work harder to sell it.

“You have to provide a more consistent presentation of product from lots of different suppliers and that presents content challenges.”

Wenn said this means that software developers like Zolv are having to spend more time with clients going through the fine detail of what they want.

“We are finding we need to spend longer on the detail – leaving anything to assumption is not a terribly good thing to do,” he said.

Despite positive signs for demand for new technology in the UK travel sector, Wenn said firms are looking to work with partners that deliver return on their investment.

“At this end of the market there is no disposable budget for innovation. It has to work. That does not mean to say there is no innovation, but it means you have to play safe. You can’t go too ‘blue sky’.”

Zolv’s Olly Wenn is a speaker at this year’s Travolution Summit being held in London on September 12. He will join a panel of fellow techies that will offer a coalface insight into the world of software and website development in the travel industry. Purchase your delegate place here

 

 

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