We have seen much disruption in the travel industry over the past two decades. These include Uber changing the way we use ground transport, Airbnb updating the type of accommodation we book, hotels using chatbots to answer guest queries or robots frying eggs at the breakfast line.
New technologies are also allowing travel agencies to operate more efficiently and provide better customisation.
One major disruption to the travel industry is New Distribution Capability (NDC). If you haven’t heard of it yet, don’t worry, it is not as confusing and complex as it sounds.
What is NDC?
Put simply, NDC is a common language used for the exchange of information between airlines and travel agencies. It enables travel agencies and their customersto easily access an airline’s full data on products and pricing, including add-ons like baggage, pre-assigned seats, etc.
NDC is the latest example of the continuous evolution of the travel industry, promising greater customisation capabilities to the agent, for travellers.
How will NDC benefit travel agencies?
For many, NDC will merely make it easier for agents to achieve what theycontinually strive to do: deliver value to customers by accessing the richest content choice through a single workflow.
Over the past months, I have received many inquiries from corporate travel managers and travel agencies on how NDC will affect their business. I would like to address some of NDC’s benefits:
1. Ultimate customisation
NDC means that agencies can feedback customers’ preferences to the airline thatcan then create various combinations of ancillaries with fares to achieve an infinite number of customised offers for customers at various price points.
For instance, the pricing system by fare class, which is typically rather rigid, can be replaced with dynamic pricing that changes in real-time. This can reflect the pricing of ancillaries like lounge access, Wi-Fi, meals, etc. This customisation can greatly improve the level of service offered to travellers.
2. Streamlined processes
To offer customers choice and add-ons, travel agencies sometimes have to use various channels to complete a booking for their travellers.
NDC can significantly improve that. It allows agencies to process all bookings on a single platform. Via a Global Distribution System (GDS), agencies can even enjoy this connectivity to various airlines in one go.
3. Greater transparency
NDC will provide increased transparency for travel agencies, allowing them toeasily manage cost comparisons with competitors and ensure the consistency of content.
Eventually, the relationships between travel agencies and airlines can be enhanced considerably.
Preparing for an NDC future
NDC is currently in the early stage. For NDC to truly deliver value, all of us travel industry players should work together to push this new standard language forward.
Disruption may seem scary, but travel agencies should continue to talk to technology partners like Travelport about their plans to embrace NDC and technology-driven distribution tools.
With the necessary knowledge and tools, we can all work towards identifying and taking advantage of growth opportunities that this new language can bring.
Are you ready to embrace NDC to grow your business?
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