Travelport Launches Global Accelerator to Tackle Travel Retailing Challenges

Travelport is aiming to solve some of the biggest challenges in travel retailing. The new global accelerator program in partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS) will start off by tackling digital marketing solutions that personalize targeted offers to customers using AI and machine learning.

“No single person or business has the solution to all of travel’s retailing challenges,” said Tom Kershaw, chief product and technology officer at Travelport. “The most effective way to drive innovation, especially at pace, is to unite bright minds from diverse backgrounds and geographic locations and focus their energy on solving a specific problem. That’s precisely what Travelport Accelerator will do. We look forward to working with companies across the world, both large and small, to drive the modernization of travel retailing for the benefit of the entire travel ecosystem.”

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For this first challenge, selected startups will be given the chance to receive up to $100,000 in AWS Activate credit, and applications are currently open.

This will not be the only challenge offered by Travelport. Travelport Accelerator will see tech startups and innovators looking to enter the travel space take aim at a series of different travel retailing challenges, such as data protection, hyper-personalization and customer acquisition. Once a challenge is set, companies with relevant products and technology are invited to apply.

For each challenge, a cohort of as many as 10 companies will be selected to proceed. Companies are judged by panels made up of top industry members, including American Express Global Business Travel, Priceline, Internova Travel Group, Direct Travel and Christopherson Business Travel. A group of three companies will move to the final round and will work to take on the challenge with Travelport and AWS.

“With millions of active customers, AWS enables organizations of every size, around the world, to innovate. Travelport Accelerator supports that effort by giving travel innovators the potential to pitch their technology to some of the most influential leaders in the global travel industry and to influence the future of travel retailing. We’re proud to collaborate with Travelport on this as we work together to optimize Travelport+ and create a simpler, smarter, and better future for travel retailing.”

The deadline to enter the first challenge, which will introduce cutting-edge digital marketing technology for travel companies, is midnight Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) on Wednesday, September 22, 2021.

Jen Catto, Chief Marketing Officer, Travelport, said: “The sheer volume of channels that communicate messages to people today is breathtaking, as is the amount of content each pushes out. Our brains are therefore forced to prioritize the information they receive. If you’re not compelling enough, you’ll be at the back of the queue – forgotten, literally. To be heard, it’s now table stakes for digital marketing to be highly targeted and hyper-personalized. Historically, this has been a challenge for travel companies because selling travel is complex, access to travel data has been limited, pricing is real-time, demand trends evolve rapidly, and offers contain multiple products. Due to this, according to a recent study by Sojern, 84% of marketing professionals in the travel industry now see AI and machine learning for personalization of digital marketing as a high or very high priority. Challenges, however, are there to be overcome, and we believe this challenge can be solved by bringing together the right people and the right technology. We can’t wait to get started!”


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