Disruption of the Travel Distribution Industry

Disruption of the Travel Distribution Industry Published December 2015 Analyst: Bob Offutt


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Today, the technology used and services provided by the three major global distribution systems (GDSs) represent the foundational capability for most travel agencies and travel management companies (TMCs) and are realized by the end user through online travel agencies (OTAs) (Expedia, Orbitz, etc.) This GDS capability seems relatively stable and straight forward, but that has not always been the case, nor will it be going forward. The path to the current state has been fraught with numerous startup efforts and road kill on the travel distribution super highway. The saga continues.

This paper is an effort to identify the business initiatives and technology advances that have the potential to disrupt and possibly redefine our current travel distribution system. 

  • Introduction
  • History
  • Technological Disruptors
    • Cloud Computing
    • Web Services
    • Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)
    • Horizontal Scalability
    • Open Source Software
  • Data Access and Use
    • In-Memory Databases
    • Solid State Storage
    • Big Data
    • Cognitive Computing
  • Business Disruptors
    • GDS Functions
    • Booking Fees
    • Air Shopping
    • Other Content
  • Air Disruption
    • Air Disruption Times Two: New Initiatives
    • Air Disruption Times Three
  • Other Travel Modes
    • Hospitality
    • Ground Transportation
    • Tours
    • Trip Management
  • The Changing Customer Base
  • Conclusion
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