It’s the exciting new booking technology that airlines and GDS providers can’t stop talking about, but has anyone actually sat down with Travel Agents to brief them on the NDC & its capabilities?
‘No’ would be the answer among a large number of Travel Agents who, according to a new study, are still uncertain about the system.
Research conducted by ACTE Global and American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) revealed that almost a quarter of consultants (23 percent) admitted that they’re “not at all” confident in their understanding of the NDC, while 58 percent said they’re only “somewhat” in the know.
Who can blame them for being so unsure about the technology when the question ‘what is the NDC’, is often answered with, ‘a technology programme developed to standardise API (application programming interface) distribution’.
Thankfully Scott Barber from Travelport recently broke the NDC down for us. Click here for a definition in layman’s terms.
Due to this lack of understanding around the technology (and a little like Mariah Carey), Travel Agents aren’t willing to make time for it, with some 63 percent saying they’re “not exploring any new platforms beyond their OBT at this time”.
There’s also major concern that the NDC will undermine Agents’ existing programmes, with most worried it’ll reduce functionality, higher costs, lack of data and reduce fare transparency.
“When it comes to NDC, the biggest unknown is whether travel managers will be able to maintain visibility into costs and traveller behaviour. But they cannot afford to wait to address the issue.”
Greeley Koch, ACTE Global Executive Director
“Travel managers must evaluate their policies and technology now so that they’re prepared for the potential disruption,” Greeley added. If caught on the back foot, they will be left grappling with a more fragmented, less safe and, ultimately, less effective programme.”
Other key findings of the study include 64 percent of Travel Agents saying they hope the NDC will improve booking experiences and 56 percent believing it will help contract negotiations with airlines.
- READ: What is the NDC? And how will it affect Agents & their clients?
- READ: “Airlines need to simplify their rules for Travel Agents”
- READ: Everything to know about Qantas’ Distribution Platform
How confident are you in your knowledge of the NDC?
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