Last week I attended the FVW Congress & Travel Expo in Cologne. Together with some colleagues from Amadeus Rail I was on site to present the latest product developments around Amadeus Global Rail Sales Platform.Apart from that I had the chance to visit the congress and see some of the presentations. One thing I really enjoyed was the Live Hacker session in which Sebastian Schreiber from Syss gave away some easy tricks how to hack into websites, iPads etc. Obviously data security is an important topic for everyone involved in e-commerce and the surprising thing is that, even to me, with no knowledge of programming whatsoever, some of the hacks I saw are easy enough to try again at home, such as manipulating the prices of an online pizza delivery service.
Looking at personal data and the travel industry another topic caught my interest: the idea of New Distribution Capabilities (NDC) and how it could help travel providers to customize their offers based on the customer's profile. I admit I'm a bit sceptical about this kind of personalized shopping. First, obviously I wouldn’t be too happy paying a higher price for a flight just because my profile suggests that I would be ready to do so, and then, let me tell you about my travel behavior: I go on city breaks - sometimes I stay in a nice hotel, sometimes at a friend’s place, sometimes in a cheap hostel. I go backpacking and don’t plan anything at all. I go on business trips, everything pre-planned, stay in conference hotels but might then add an extra night couch surfing. I fly around the world and happily pay extra for a direct flight. Then again, sometimes I don’t mind extra travel time and take a long distance train or bus, just for the fun of it. And there is so much more…
So, honestly, I don’t know too much about how NDC actually works and the algorithms which will be put in place. But I'd be thrilled to know how any algorithm can possibly find the right offer for me. Every trip differs so much from the last one. But then again, I also learned at the conference that most people from the Generation Y (like me) think they are very special, unique and different from the rest. Of course I am! But guess what, research suggests we are not that different. Let’s see… I’m curious to find out!
Well, back to the congress… to wrap it up, the event was very insightful and gave lots of food for thought. And obviously I had fun at the famous DB Bahn Party in the Alter Wartesaal in central Cologne. It was a great networking evening, relaxed atmosphere and everyone enjoyed typical Cologne food along with Kölsch beer and dancing to an ABBA cover band.