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Booking tools not meeting buyers’ needs – ITM survey



Travel managers are currently facing a “multitude of challenges” across the technology and distribution landscape but chief among them is booking tools falling short of today’s requirements, according to a new survey.

Four out of five travel buyers (82 per cent) voiced their frustrations with online booking platforms in the survey conducted by the UK’s Institute of Travel Management.

The main shortcomings reported by buyers included a lack of access to full airline content – and thus increased leakage – as well as poor user experience and insufficient information displays.

The poll of around 100 travel managers also found just over half believe there will be a “satisfactory solution to the content challenges” that airlines, OBTs and TMCs are currently grappling with within the next three to five years. Nearly a third (32 per cent) are unsure and 16 per cent believe the situation will not be resolved within that timeframe.

The survey, findings of which were unveiled at today’s ITM conference in Brighton, also showed nearly three-quarters of buyers (72 per cent) believe TMCs will continue to be “the critical partner in their programme in the next five years”.

More than half of respondents (56 per cent) believe TMCs are adapting to changes in the distribution landscape whilst 44 per cent said TMCs are not keeping up with its evolution.

“Distribution and access to content continue to be a major headache for buyers,” said ITM chief executive Scott Davies. “But this is not an easy fix, so it’s not surprising to see that only half of buyers believe the industry will find a solution within the next three to five years.”

Meanwhile, less than three in ten travel managers (29 per cent) feel optimistic about the year ahead, with 16 per cent “concerned or anxious” and the majority, 56 per cent, saying they are “on standby to expect the unexpected”.

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