May 26, 2016
San Francisco was home, last weekend, to the first edition of Travel Tech Con, a not-for-profit conference, one of the first in this specific niche. The goal of this event is to educate the travel tech community about emerging technological novelties and help create new opportunities within this industry.
In fact, “opportunity” was a key focus throughout the entire event, with the constant highlight on the huge opportunities lying ahead in the travel tech niche and how the industry is not taking full advantage of them.
In that same spirit, Travel Tech Con held a pitch competition, where seventeen startups got three minutes to explain their ideas to the team of judges, comprising six people. There were several prizes for grabs and the big winners were Axus Travel App and Beyond Pricing, taking home two and four prizes, respectively.
Among the speakers we could find some names representing big companies, such as Rachel Zhao from Yelp, Mohammad Gaber from Adobe and Tom Lindma from Bosch. Gaber, who is head of Adobe’s global industry strategy and marketing, commented that the travel industry is at the verge of a wave of innovation, noting that a key step to getting there is to look beyond the marketing funnel that it currently focuses on.
Overall, all speakers came to the conclusion that while there is still much to be done in terms of implementing novel tech in the travel industry, we are living in the perfect moment to start taking advantage of the opportunities tech can bring. Modesto Blanco, CEO of Travel Excellence, an attendee at the conference, seemed to agree:
“Technology is, without any doubt, very important in the future of the travel industry. For example we, travel operators, are not taking full advantage of all the technology there is nowadays, and doing so might have a strong impact on the success of our businesses. Virtual Reality is an excellent case of a technology that fits this industry like a glove, especially when it has fully matured.”
Even though this was the first edition of Travel Tech Con, its success can hardly be questioned, so much that the 2017 edition is already on the works.
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