Can legacy businesses such as Tui really hope to emulate the likes of Google, Expedia and TripAdvisor when it comes to innovation?
Well, we’re going to start finding out because that’s precisely what Europe’s biggest travel company has set out its stall to achieve.
Last week, as part of its Think Digital event, thousands of Tui employees heard from a succession of internet giants about how technology is transforming businesses today.
And through its new Travel Lab initiative, Tui is putting its frontline staff at the heart of its plan, as it looks to them for the inspiration to drive its technological innovations.
Knowing and understanding the customer, their expectations and frustrations, is the battleground on which all firms, online or offline, are increasingly competing today.
So who better to provide this vital consumer insight than agents like you reading this, who collectively have tens of thousands of face-to-face interactions with clients every day?
As Expedia marks its 20-year anniversary, you might say firms like Tui have left it far too late to take on the challenge of its online rivals.
But digital transformation isn’t easy if you’ve also got the complex and risky job of running airlines, cruise ships, hotels, transfers and stores as well.
Ultimately, action rather than words will determine whether Tui succeeds. But, as we report this week, the Travel Lab has already started to deliver, with an idea from one of its high street agents earmarked for development.
Are you an agent or a lab assistant? In this digital age, the lines are increasingly blurred, and not just at Tui.
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