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Travel Is Your Business

Travel Is Your Business

Author: MouthMedia Network

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Travel and hospitality industry professionals get weekly insights from leaders across the business with "TIYB" on their playlists. The series features interviews with thought leaders and innovators changing the face and setting the pace of travel, with a focus on fascinating new technologies and groundbreaking new strategies.
78 Episodes
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Merchandising content platform for flight shopping…Robert Albert, CEO of Routehappy (the industry standard for airline rich content, acquired by ATPCO) joins John Matson and Nick Vivion in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser.In this episode:The most commonly desired amenity in travel: seat, then WiFiSelling a singular vision when pitching/building RoutehappyHow it is not actually all about priceAn entire ecommerce category that’s comeditized, we all about the experience from that moment onExplaining products and services customers are happier, and the industry does betterHow it was obvious to him that every customer needed thisWhy Albert feels it has felt like spreading a religion, every meeting is positive, but not necessarily a priority all the timeIt is an organic experience, brick by brick building the path forward for the company and the recognition of the needHow the pace of building the company has helped them build it right, solving a complex problem, and why the company is ready for prime time now and can solve global differentiation problem in flight shoppingWhy GDS’s didn’t solve this priorSales cycles in travel vs. funds for startupsMassive network effect, explaining the story and getting airlines and distributers to align on the story and potential impactHow hard Albert and team worked building the company, holding twenty five meetings a week while traveling, making good product decisions that got companies interestedOriginally Routehappy was about consumer flight reviews, then built APIs of data, and operating leanHappy and cheap as a product compassHow Routehappy’s solution was now described as being able to enable the industry with better data, and that resulted in the first serious ways people were paying attentionMoving from B to C to B to B as a pivotPineapple chunks, and why this Australian treat was the snack, and the meaningHow Routehappy was recently acquired by ATPCO, software that manages the world’s airfaresUTA rich context (universal ticket attribute)Becoming the “Switzerland of rich content”, how Routehappy can now deliver on the thing they said they were doing for seven yearsOverall vision as the next gen storefront, how it is time to modernize flight shopping, how indirect channels can and should transform, and coming together with the “how”The happy empire and the tip of the icebergAlbert’s parental inspiration for travel
Online Travel Agencies with Fareportal and CheapOair…Sam Jain (bio), CEO/Founder of Fareportal, CheapOair and OneTravel.com, Board Chairman of Voyager HQ, joins Peter Crysdale (Co-Founder of ReCorp), Pavan Bahl (CEO of Open Source Business), Rob Sanchez (COO of Open Source Business), and Marc Raco (CPO of Open Source Business) for the first episode of Travel Is Your Business podcast.Taking initiative to fill a gap, customer service, and introducing technologyIn one of his few in-depth interviews ever, Jain covers why he started CheapOair to fill a gap in current digital online travel space, and because of the lack large contact center presence. How his background in business-to-business and customer service led to creating a digital online travel agency with a customer service focus, now the only OTA today with a toll free number on every web page, and more than 2,000 travel agents full time.Turning a 4k debt on AmEx card into a huge business by trying to solve a dysfunction. his “coming to America” story inspired by a family jewelry business, an idea sparked by working a year for no money at a small travel agency, and buying tickets from wholesalers, the two worlds of published fares and consolidated wholesale net traded flights. The impact of Jain introducing technology with simple databases, and pivoting into an ecommerce business. Getting into the business with a model as a flight focused OTA, and providing a great user experience with a three step booking path and strong customer service, going up against four established players, and the complexity of the processes and transactions, such as 80,000 schedule changes per month.Learning from pivots, user experience, and VoyagerJain assertion that ecommerce is not complex when focused on product and having a depth of knowledge on one’s vertical, bootstrapping CheapOair as a pivot to go directly to the customer, a prior failed pivot, and lessons learned when getting into the hotel space. The importance of keeping focus on a core product and knowledge, and defending against OTA’s with cheaper flights with diversity of channels. How the entire seamless user experience is important from the beginning to post-transaction, and keeping target on getting repeat visitors to lower acquisition costs,New technologies and the space being innovated, the new ability to book Amtrak, and focusing on mobile first. The Voyager incubator co-working space as an eyes and ears on innovation, looking at artificial intelligence, the value of the startup mindset, and a determination to tap into that talent pool.Monkey commerce, dealing fruit, and global travelsThe personal questions of Off the Beaten Path travels to Mathura, India, witnesses monkey commerce, dreams of a fruity excuse to go to Honolulu, and enjoys pizza in Nepal.
A mobility provider that has changed the way over 100 million people have traveled -- FlixBus is now taking on the US...Joanna Patterson, Head of Business Development for FlixBus (a unique combination of tech startup, e-commerce platform and sustainable transportation company) joins Marc Raco and Anthony DeRico.How we need more intercity bus travelBus travel hasn’t innovated quickly, other players haven’t brought technology that makes it better for consumer, and how FlixBus does take a fragmented industry and makes it better to help more people get placesA main player in Europe, hoping to be main player in USA few different clicks you can track buses, buses are well maintained, there is a better experience including plugs, wifi, clean,Charter bus operators typically are partnersAllows bus companies its to enter the line run business because they don't have to setup a full business model and infrastructureFlixBus in the US trying to convince people to take buses for the first timeBeing a game changer is a combination of things: great mobile experience and good experience being on the bus, using data to optimize pricing and the networkSkewing toward millennials and college studentsThe physical touchpoint with the customer is a driverBeing a hand in hand partner in the success ion bus operatorsThe nature of the partnershipImportant that partners can provide the customer with a good experienceTechnological capabilities are not important because FlixBus has that capabilityHow treating customers well is very importantManagement and training of drivers and their interaction with customers  including on the "mobility partner portal"Does maple flavored salmon jerky meet expectations?#NOTICETHEBUSES
Data as a roadmap to innovation, development and customer success for enterprise companies in the travel industry with XenoDATA Partners…Taylor Culver , Founder of XenoDATA Partners (a boutique management consulting firm partnering with you on making data strategy successful), and his associate Michael McDowell, join Marc Raco and Anthony DeRico in the MouthMedia Network studio powered by Sennheiser.In this episode:A vertical agnostic companyWhy travel has a special place in Taylor and Michael’s hearts – traveling 40-50 countriesData is a strategic assetLearning from working at Hertz on the corporate development teamTalent in work force is versed in data and can really able to ask the right questionsWhat needs help now with data in the travel space?Enterprise issues in legacy systemsTransferring data back and forth to shape experiences downstreamOpportunities to utilize data points in during the experience, not just online – such as between the taking of ticket to the time you’e in the seat of a planeThe integrated nature of Hertz communication, customer feedback, and dynamic feedbackGenesis of the. companyOpportunity – enterprise customers get the most value out of their dataThe $40B niche industry – car rentals, and opportunities to disrupt 
AirAsia has an eye on how technology innovation can disrupt the areas of the travel industry…When you’re the largest airline in a country, with more than 100 million passengers last year and ranked this year by Forbes the best low cost airline in Asia, you’re going to know a lot about what your customers need and want. You’ll know about their behavior throughout their journey with you, and how you can grow as a customer and as an ever increasingly relevant player.  In the travel industry. AirAsia Group is taking that experience and running—(or flying)—with it. With an eye on how technology innovation can disrupt the areas of the travel industry Air Asia is eyeing for expansion, and to be of value to other industry players  — (and even other industries).themyour brand Aireen Omar, AirAsia Deputy Group CEO (Technology and Digital), joins John Matson and Bess Chapman for a discussion on why the airline has made a meaningful play into venture funding and startups, a search for talent worldwide, and investing in unicorns. Recorded in the MouthMedia Network studio powered by Sennheiser.In this episode:Data is invaluable What makes an airline stand out—how you make a customer feel, the right kind of services and products, as seamless sand possibleAnd branding is important, seeking a fun and enjoyable way to consume itUnderstanding needs and wants, and helping them discover what they don’t know they wantRedbeat Ventures, embracing technology, and how AirAsia has a. lot of data, and has discovered the behavior of passengersAirAsia wanting to seek for talent all over the world, and find solutions and disrupt the travel industry they want to expand to, and be of value to other industry players (and perhaps other industries as well)The resulting venture fund and separate and off balance sheet, to invest in unicorns around the worldThe wide range of who be in the fund, including lifestyle companiesThe beauty of how AirAsia can work with startups, given the 100M+ passengers per yearThe likely impact of an economy shift on the business
Collaborative technology to the global airline industry that enables its customers to improve the pace and quality of aircraft maintenance, leading to significant productivity gains, lowered costs and improved safety…Tripp Higgins, VP of Business Development, and Andy Hakes, Founder/CEO, of AireXpert (tech ops event control), joins John Matson and Bess Chapman in theMouthMedia Network studio powered by Sennheiser.In this episode:Room for improvement in great communication with people out at airplanes and between travel companies and those peopleA lot of people working in adjacent roles who don’t work together and a lot situations develop on the flyBarriers – outsourcing, fragmentation of indie companies that don’t share resourcesAirlines relying on outsourced vendors, lack of training, very little standardization for communicationAireXpert is a communication channel that creates a standardized link, that allows people to communicate in same space, on the flyHow AireXpert’s business startedEveryone has the same painsThe difficulty of raising money in Buffalo NY, and needing capital to hire great talentHow being in small market has challenges and opportunitiesHot dogs!The sales cycle of approaching an airlineRaising funds and the venture landscape in BuffaloWhether the AireXpert executives feel less or more safe now with airlinesThe exhilaration of taking in the arrival at a new destination
If you had an hour to sit with someone who helped build the fastest growing travel media company in the industry – what could you learn? From user-generated content, to the shift of the mobile-first environment and how trends have drastically shifted in travel, along with travel management companies, the joys of  traveling with family, and why not to take your eye off the ball in the travel industry…Anthony Derico, Business Mentor / Advisor for Quake Capital Partners and Business Consultant / Advisor to Voyager HQ,  and former VP/Head of Sales for Skift and Skift table, joins John Matson and Bess Chapman in the MouthMedia Network studio powered by Sennheiser.In this episode:The move to mobile as the biggest travel shiftThe next biggest shift?The cellphone as a tool of travelSkiplagged for finding cheap flightsInfluencer content and maintaining an authentic voice, and how everyone is an influencer when they travel and share on social mediaMaking travel more accessible is a market shareDoes travel have a homogeny problem to get that instagrammable moment?The effect on business travelWhy people travel for business, the many layers of that decision making, and a possible game changer to focus onWorking for your snackCreating amazing experiences as a brand, and really executing events that can leave an impressionThe impact of the rise of startup culture on travelWhy travel as a benefit should be core to a businessHow trade publications can get real stories in travel, and then thoughts on content that stands outInspiring children with meaningful travel destinations and experiences that make an impact
Acquiring and retaining hospitality customers with surprise-and-delight rewards…James Nannos, Director of Hotel Sales & Partnerships for Stay Wanderful (a direct booking tool to increase guest conversion and provide surprise- and-delight rewards) joins John Matson and Bess Chapman in the MouthMedia Network studio powered by Sennheiser.In this episode:How independent hospitality brands should think about retaining customersIndependent hospitality chains don’t have a powerful distribution networkTangible guest rewards, differentiated experiences to guests, and then continuing conversation after the factHow can independents get in there and make a differenceMost prefer experiences and benefits to points, most won’t get value out of pointsPersonalizing small but highly perceived value rewardsMost want to choose rewardsIf Stay Wanderful is in many properties, how that helps still customers choose a specific propertyRaising the bar of service won’t dilute the opportunityStay Wanderful makes it look like a hotel is giving you the rewards, like a white label solution for that hotelThe only business where customers are sleeping in palace of business—you must capture them while they are thereIndependent properties fighting uphill battleA fee-for-success modelThe importance of fining out the real decision-maker of a hospitality property or brandWhy hotels are operating off of antiquating systems, integrating into an old tech stackThe helpfulness of the Cornell networkThe impact of military methodology and experience on entrepreneurialism and how it connects with hotel business
Why the original travel app is partnered with so many brands and integrated into so much technology…Kristen Vasan, Director of Strategic Platform Partnerships for Foursquare (a technology company that enriches consumer experiences and informs business decisions through a deep understanding of location intelligence), joins John Matson in the MouthMedia Network studio powered by Sennheiser.In this episode:The state of personalization in the travel industry, gained some momentumFoursquare was previously thought as a social networking app, but is a contextually aware location platform that sits on top of some of the biggest brands’ techCan build a contextually aware map of where people goPeople comparing brands to one another are looking at how technological experiences compare to one another The risk of becoming the best tech company instead of best serviceGoing from the check in app for locations,  and how Foursquare  pivoted to become a huge player in the enterprise location spaceHow their API plays into geo-locations for images and social mediaThe goal to give marketers the ability to “bake” location tech, to know where you’ve stopped, see the venue where you are, and “tap you on the shoulder”Giving people the ability to be present and enjoy life, and only use phone when it matters mostHow Foursquare reached 1 billion consumersBrands building loyalty, having an understanding of offline behavior, a lot is still left to be done in that spaceHow business travel is different than personal travelSeeing location trails of consumers and telling stories about where they goPeople look to Foursquare as the original travel appAre travel startups able to use Foursquare’s SDK and try to iterate on itFoursquare’s database of over 105M places globally you can ingest and share with worldAnd  — a volcano
Organizing business trips 90% faster, 30% cheaper via AI with a human touch…Filip Maksymilian Bloch (CEO) and Daniel Flynn (Business Development Manager) of Hotailors (a next-gen AI-powered travel platform  allowing organization of corporate travel faster, at a lower cost) join John Matson in the MouthMedia Network studio powered by Sennheiser.In this episode:What does Hotailors see changing in corporate travel bookings?Hotailors wants to treat your employees rightWho’s driving the change in corporate travel?Identifying and relating to the pain of being a travelerTrimming down the “waste time” spent booking a tripSMD vs EnterpriseWinning the market and becoming a unicornSizing up the marketHow Filip and Dan metNarrow Domain Intelligence vs General Form IntelligenceApplying AI to the travel spaceWhere Filip sees AI succeeding and thriving How Artificial Intelligence will help travel be better, smarter, cheaper, faster, and more comfortableThe competition in the travel AI spaceHotailor’s hybrid approach to travel – Merging A.I. efficiency with human touch by employing a network of 3,000 travel agents across the globeBuilding a product so good, customers won’t want to leave – the key is to be faster and more robustHotailor’s approach to product research and developmentHow Hotailor built a network of 3,000 travel agents across the globeThe early struggles and mistakes made while growing HotailorsWhere Filip believes AI will be used and where he wants to see it utilizedFilip’s upbringing running hotels with his parents
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