Amadeus has officially been recognised as the best GDS by the travel industry in South Africa at the Business Traveller Africa Awards on 01 September.
Andy Hedley, who accepted the Award on behalf of Amadeus also participated at a panel discussion about the future of travel technology during this prestigious event.
Important for the travel industry to remember, according to Andy, is that if you give the business traveller a better experience, he will without a doubt be more efficient. The disconnect between the desire to save costs and the actual value of a trip needs to be addressed. Corporate policies should be adapted to accommodate the needs of the business, the traveler and the travel experience, to deliver a more engaged and effective employee.
Is South Africa’s corporate travel space fully utilising the benefits that mobile offers?
“No,” laughs Andy. “Mobile is great and useful,” he told the public, but he also warned that there is just too much focus on the ‘next new thing’. As a result, we often forget to implement the existing technology and apps and look at the more practical considerations.
“Mobile is very useful, but the truth is that the screen size remains an issue, as does speed and the cost of data when abroad. I recently travelled to Mauritius and came back with a huge data bill. If the data cost means a traveller can only use mobile in his or her own country, it loses its efficiency. Apps are great, but if you can’t use them because of data constraints, you’ve got a problem.”
What does the future hold, according to Andy?
“I have no idea. We’re moving too fast, so I don’t know where we’re going, that’s part of the fun” he says honestly. However, according to Andy, what’s sure is that it’s going to get better and better. “The advancement we can observe in technology labs is amazing.”
Andy explains that we can without a doubt expect a greater adoption of technology in the years to come. But, this doesn’t mean that personal contact will disappear. “Face-to-face will remain a very important aspect of doing business.”