Corporate travel online booking tools need a "serious wake-up call"

For all the talk of innovation in business travel, there’s still a gap in the retailing technology used by the sector. That’s the message from Paul Tilstone, managing partner at Festive Road, speaking on the state of online booking tools (OBTs) at The Beat Live in New York earlier this month. Although OBTs have been around since the dawn of the internet, Tilstone says the “peak of inflated expectations” came after the technology rose to dominance in the late-2000s, about the same time as the widespread introduction of the API and the arrival of the iPhone in 2007. “From then on, the disillusionment set in as the B2C experience developed fast and the gap between it and the more clunkier B2B experience widened,” he says. “And we believe that satisfaction with the OBTs has been diminishing ever since.”

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