TravelgateX brought together the global travel industry in Mallorca to celebrate Con-X. An event attended by more than 300 people; from CEO of international tourism companies to tourism experts of large national companies. Participants and speakers from 45 countries participated in conferences and tactical workshops specially designed to promote new business opportunities.
Technology is boosting the value of tourism businesses in a disruptive way. Thanks to technology, small businesses can now scale, compete at a higher level and can present alternatives to tourism providers to give them the option of having control over their distribution networks.
And it was expressly for this same reason that TravelgateX, the Palma-based global Marketplace, organized Con-X 2019. A pioneering B2B conference that brought together leading travel companies from 45 countries.
Con-X is based on the three pillars of the company: Network, Innovation, Partnership. During the event, attendees had the opportunity to meet and interact with other experts in the tourism sector, as well as to attend talks and listen to intrepid companies that inspired the progress of tourism.
Alibaba and the potential of the chinese market
Terry Von Bibra, Vice President Europe at Alibaba and the first speaker of the day expressed his enthusiasm to participate for the second time in Con-X. During his speech, Terry exposed the growing importance of the Chinese market in the travel sector and how the country has become one of the markets with the most potential worldwide.
He stressed the importance of understanding Chinese consumers and how tourism companies should adapt to the culture and customs when entering this market.
“Studying carefully how they browse, search, buy and pay for their holidays online is without a doubt the first step to success”
Another topic he talked about, was the important role of artificial intelligence and the way in which technology is used, to which he added: “Technology is not only for innovation, technology must be used to do greater things, to help consumers and to make the whole traveling experience easier and agile. ”
It is worth mentioning that Alibaba already has an impressive presence in the country but affirms that despite sending a dizzying amount of 69 million packages daily, the most important for them is undoubtedly the collaboration with its customers and suppliers.
Finally, he added that China’s online market is not ”mobile first” but rather ”mobile only” meaning that Asian consumers now use their phones to make most of their purchases.
Microsoft and the importance of adapting the companies to the new trends
The second speaker was nothing more, nothing less than Gloria Macías Lizaso, Spanish director of Microsoft. Gloria, who has a long career in the technological field, explained that consumers today are moving faster than ever. In fact, they expect more, they are more sophisticated and know exactly what they need.
”Our duty is to identify their needs and understand how we can simplify their day to day, either when they’re looking for a hotel or simply notifying them in real time changes in flight schedules.”
Gloria also highlighted that tourism companies continue to underestimate the potential of virtual reality and artificial intelligence, adding: “Implementing this type of technology in hotels is relatively simple and adds great value to the customer experience. ”
Technology not only helps us understand the customers but also helps us to improve the product offered or the service provided. Gloria finished her speech making it clear that: ” Technology is already here and ready, we just have to adapt it to our times. ”
Rakuten and the decision of choosing to build loyalty by giving back to customers
In the second part of the Innovation talks, Con-X was able to welcome Kotaro Kumagai, responsible for travel in Rakuten, who traveled all the way from Japan to participate in the conference. Kotaro talked a little bit about innovation but emphasized more on the topic of customer loyalty, teamwork and partnership, adding: “One of our main objectives has always been to be able to work more closely with our partners to provide a better experience for users,” he said.
He noted that the company already has 1.3 billion users worldwide. Part of that success was achieved by collaborating and implementing the right technology to the company. He also stated that, if we had to highlight something important when it comes to growing as a company, I would say that the amazing job done by our team has allowed us to improve the loyalty of our customers and has led us to this point.
”Our goal is to give them as much as they gave to us. A balanced relationship between the brand and the final consumer.”
To finish, Kotaro spoke about the potential of machine learning. “Thanks to artificial intelligence and machine learning, we can predict in advance the products that consumers want and offer them a better experience. A better experience is key to a good strategy.
Closing speech with Google Cloud
Isaac Hernández, Country Manager for Google Cloud Spain & Portugal, started by saying ”Many people think that the transformation is done, that there is nothing else to invent or do after this, but at Google, we know that this amazing transformation has only just begun”. Machine learning, for instance, can now do things that were unthinkable in the past and what the future holds for us is simply fascinating, he added.
The key to success is undoubtedly ”people & technology ‘, or better said, a mixture of innovation, technology, and people.
How to be more agile or faster, how to improve the company and how to overcome obstacles are some of the most common questions that our clients send us. The key to success is undoubtedly ”people & technology ‘, or better said, a mixture of innovation, technology, and people. It is important to create a product with users in mind.
In order to a company to success, the whole team must participate, that is why having the best onboard is essential. Choosing the right team members takes time but in the end, that’s what will ultimately make the difference. At Google, we are always looking for people with dreams, ideas, and solutions, because most of the time the next disruptive idea is already inside the company. Allowing workers to spend part of their time on their own projects is a tactic that will benefit both the workers and the company.
In terms of technology, Isaac pointed out that Google’s mission is to make information available to everyone and at any time. Latency is critical for connectivity and that’s why Google Cloud is an open door for companies to have access to the technology that Google offers in a single click. Google Cloud means working without limits and no boundaries.
He ended by saying that technology should not be a limitation, it should allow us to grow, and work faster. Infrastructure, security, big data, machine learning, and accessibility should be the main pillars of a company and are without a doubt the way forward for the coming years.
Roundtables and Networking After the presentations, attendees were invited to take part of two round tables in which topics related to technology and tourism in the B2B and B2C market were discussed.
Lee Hayhurst, Chief Editor of Travolution and Ginés Martínez, CEO of Jumbo Tours, were the main moderators. Manny Fontenla, President of the Logitravel Group; Andrés García, CFO of Hotelbeds, Nigel Horne, CEO of Europa Webbeds, Martin Kleinman, Hotel Partnership Director Lastminute.com; Carlos Rios, CTO of Hotel Urbano, Ricardo Fernández, Managing Director Destinia, and Juan Pablo Lafosse, CEO of Almundo also participated.
After the conferences, tactical workshops specially designed to promote new business opportunities were also organized.
The pillars of the conference Network: companies are made up of people, and these people have relationships and links with the communities in which they live. Networking is the key to any business success – it is where new associations are created, and existing ones are strengthened.
Innovation: the inspiration was in charge of the most innovative leaders in the industry, giving the vision to understand what they are doing now and what they will do in the future.
Partnership: people are what matter most in business and all those who have participated in CON-X have been the decision makers in the companies, therefore it is what has allowed many to establish new business agreements.
Mallorca as a meeting point The offices of TravelgateX, located in Mallorca, enjoy a unique tourist and technological enclave. For this reason, the organization team of Con-X decided to promote Mallorca as a meeting point and take advantage of the opportunity to provide even greater visibility to the island and position itself as a benchmark for innovation.
Eighteen speakers, thirteen sponsors, six collaborators, and seven hotels have joined in this initiative to promote this meeting and to promote the advantages of Mallorca as a meeting place for business and travel.
CON-X is a conference organized by TravelgateX, a technology company led by Pedro Camara, computer engineer, and founder. The company is a leader in the field of online tourism connections and helps companies multiply their businesses generating 3.2 billion dollars in global business volume.
It should be noted that it processes more than 2 billion searches per day, connects more than 300 buyers and more than 600 vendors around the world. Your team analyzes and processes a dizzying sum of 2 terabytes of data on a daily basis to present, forecast and compare the performance and trends of the entire travel industry.
Among its star products, we find Hotel-X, Insights-X, Channel-X, which help its partners increase traffic, sales, connections and access more benefits through the Hub.