So France’s flagship event for the travel and tourism industry has been and gone for another year. Last week I, along with the Amadeus France team and thousands of other industry professionals from around the world, descended on the French capital for IFTM Top Resa, to get a first-hand look at the latest trends and topics that will shape the travel industry over the coming years.
The event, which was this year celebrating its 35th birthday, brought together over 1000 exhibitors including tourist boards, TMCs, carriers, hotels and tour operators, who were out in force showcasing their latest products, services and destinations.
My first impression on arriving at the venue on day 1 was its sheer size – absolutely huge! Just as well then that there were four full days to get round all the stands, presentations and workshops that grabbed my interest.
As usual, Amadeus had a big presence at the show and one of the big focus areas for the team this year was rail. As well as our live rail booking demos with SNCF and Trenitalia content (which were a big hit), we also announced two exciting pieces of news with these two rail companies. Firstly, that Trenitalia content will be available from this year for travel sellers in France to book through our Agent Track and FlybyRail products. And secondly, we announced the availability of the full SNCF offering in France from reservation through to aftersales, on Agent Track.
It was great to see so much buzz around high-speed rail at the event and a genuine excitement about how the industry is developing, opening up to greater competition and providing greater choice for the traveller. As for me, a relative newcomer to the travel industry, the show was a great opportunity to soak up the atmosphere and learn about some of the issues affecting the French travel market. There was much debate around the ongoing impact of ‘la crise’ and how the industry is responding with new business practices, better use of big data and new distribution channels.
It was hard not to pick up a bit of inspiration for my next holiday too with so many exotic destinations transporting you straight from the Porte de Versailles exhibition hall to the beaches of South East Asia, the Canadian Rockies and so much more. It’s going to be a tough call!