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Tackling the travel competition in 2020 & beyond

Gary O’Riordan, Meg Salter, Benj Weinmann and myself at Travel Vision 2020 overlapped, complemented and at times, contradicted one another.

Gary O’Riordan, Meg Salter, Benj Weinmann and myself at Travel Vision 2020 overlapped, complemented and at times, contradicted one another.

In this video compilation we are taking on the competition of the future, our baggage and what Travel Agents need and don’t need in the future.

In an increasingly competitive marketplace, that matters more than ever .

“I don’t believe there is a place in 2020 and beyond for every travel agent that exists right now… The Travel Agents that will survive are the ones who change and the ones that will thrive are the ones that change first.”

Meg Salter

If there is anything holding us back in preparing for the future, it is the lessons we bring from the past.

Knowledge matters, but it’s only important to hold onto the knowledge that is going to serve us in the future. The rest we need to let go. I don’t need to know how to refill a fountain pen. It mattered as a skill to someone a long time ago though.

This is increasingly important if the knowledge we have comes from an ‘analog age’. Can you imagine saying this three years ago?

“In the back of my Uber on the way to an Airbnb hunting Pokémon”

Karsten Horne


So to make room for new ideas you need to dump old assumptions and take a moment to question why you do what you do.

This is something that a passionate Meg shared with great enthusiasm, explaining how so much of what is being taught today is the same as what was being taught 20 years ago.

“Our competitors from 21 years ago don’t even exist today, but we are still doing the same stuff. Stop polishing the proverbial turd let’s do things a little bit differently.”

Meg Salter

“Your great ideas of 10 years ago are your baggage of today… the best ideas of two years ago are still holding us back.”

Competition is here to say but it’s very different. On the one hand, the computers, with their fancy low-cost business models and high data volumes represents a challenge we cannot tackle by their rules of engagement.

But we also need to consider the humans of the future, the digital natives born in the 90s who start off with a technology platform understanding, which is significantly beyond that of the Agents 10 and 15 years older.

Their skills are going to evolve rapidly, will yours?

Gary has the answers:

“Competition is here to stay but we just need to get smarter about what we do in our businesses.”

Gary O’Riordan

From the roomsXML perspective we believe service and support to be one of the most important aspects of creating and maintaining and growing customer base. Interestingly, the feedback on the “youth of today” is that they do not value service and support because they see these travel jobs as short-term and thus not worth investing in.

From a technology perspective, they will have the upper hand. From humanity perspective, their ability to provide service in a service industry, they will fall behind.

Will humanity crunch the numbers? Time will tell.

How do you tackle the competition?