Travo Summit 2024: Growth in travel is very ‘reactive’

Travo Summit 2024: Growth in travel is very ‘reactive’

It’s hard to know at what point to start automating tasks

AI and automation specialist Traverse took to the stage at Travolution’s European Summit this year to share its learnings on identifying the best possible moment to automate.

Joe Sadler, chief revenue officer for Traverse, said it can often be difficult to know what point you should start automating and becoming more scalable.

Even more so when growth in travel can change rapidly. He said: “Growth in travel very reactive. Every time the sales increase, the volumes increase, the documents increase, the financial support is needed, more administrative staff, processing, pulling data from one area to another.

“And before you know it, you’ve got teams and teams of people all over the travel business.”

Sadler warned that the best time to start to automate is always “as soon as possible”.

He advises you to ask yourself some simple questions – is it routine and repetitive? Is it rule based? Are you making certain decisions based on suppliers or certain sales for instance. 

Sadler urged the audience to consider the costs involved and what automation tools are needed, as well as the staff support needed for travel automation or if a combination technology is a better fit.

This is especially critical for those smaller agencies. “For those who are perhaps small volume agencies or tour operators or OTAs, I would definitely say as early as possible, the better and then you can define, you can scale better, and automate and process better,” he said.

Setting yourself up early could lead you to being profitable by the time you’re dealing with 30,000 supply booking bodies.

Sadler concluded that at 10,000, automating would match the value of a human in costs but when you scale to three times that volume it’s more cost effective to automate it.