IBM partnership will make big changes to travel


The future of the travel industry won’t be the same thanks to IBM and the leading travel commerce platform Travelport’s latest announcement.

During August was a big announcement from Travelport and its strategic technology partner, IBM have revealed that their industry-first AI (artificial intelligence) platform with the aim of aiding businesses manage their corporate travel spend.

The AI platform, combined with Travelport data, cleverly manages, predicts and tracks all travel costs in one place. Fundamentally changing how companies manage and optimise their travel programs. This week, a further collaboration using the blockchain, Travelport and IBM are also impacting the distribution landscape.

How does AI change the travel experience?

There isn’t a doubt that travelling can be tasking to the average customer. Especially in the digital age, it’s time to begin using the right technology to help make the experience smoother and more efficient rather than make it all about money.

Travelport’s Chief Architect, Mike Croucher and IBM’s Travel & Transportation industry Client Lead, Elizabeth Pollock spoke on the matter.

Croucher said:

“If you look at our relationship with IBM, it’s one that has been in existence since the beginning of the global distribution system (GDS).”

Both Croucher and Pollock have shown an interest in travel and are both supporters of innovation for Travelport for decades now.

“In this instance, we are looking at new ways of innovation. IBM brings their R&D, while we bring our experience and knowledge of the industry. Because of our history, we are now able to combine resources, breaking into A.I. and blockchain technology.”

Travelport’s main goal with the partnership is to fully understand what blockchain technology is and how it works.

As reported by Forbes, Pollock explained that “IBM’s opportunity to expand and disrupt the industry together, provides for a very exciting collaboration outside of Travelport’s core business model.”

The use of IBM’s Watson provides a big advantage in this partnership.

Since coming in first during Jeopardy! in 2011, IBM’s Watson found itself being in several industries.the capabilities have since been used for utilisation management in medical centres. But, it’s also been utilised for a bigger range of AI-related applications which includes voice recognition, business analytics and natural language processing.

Croucher spoke on the matter and said:

“I’ve been in the travel and IT industries for nearly 40 years, seeing Watson develop. Once the technology becomes high-profile, you need to understand how to apply it across industries. I think A.I. has become easier to apply and more cost-effective. Watson, over the last few years, has very much developed from a highly-skilled R&D, now being implemented across many verticals.”


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