Tui Travel needs to “think again” if it believes its introduction of personalisation technology will be a threat to small operators, Aito chairman Derek Moore said.
Responding to comments that Dave Burling, chief executive of Tui’s northern region, made at the Institute of Travel and Tourism annual conference earlier this month, Moore said technology would never replace “the human touch”.
Burling previously said modern technology and mobile apps were offering large businesses the chance to tailor the experience for every customer. He said it would be a threat to smaller, niche operators, which previously “had this tailor-made market for themselves”.
However, Moore insisted the personalised service offered by specialist operators and agents gave Aito the edge.
“Dave Burling of Tui lives in a different world to me,” said Moore. “Personalising messages to your database will never replace the human contact that our operators and agents can use to close sales. Dave should think again.”
Moore said Burling’s comments would resonate with many Aito members because personalisation was a selling point for smaller businesses.
“The human voice and the chance to close the deal personally will always beat technology,” he said.
“All credit to Tui.It’s a very successful operation and I’m not knocking them. They’re just a different world and a different business. But we are better at our world and he’s [Burling] better at his.”
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