Travelport has announced the launch of a global accelerator program in collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS) dedicated to addressing the travel industry’s biggest retailing challenges.
Travelport Accelerator will see tech start-ups and innovators looking to enter the travel space take aim at a series of different travel retailing challenges such as data protection, hyper-personalisation and customer acquisition.
Once the challenge has been set, companies with existing technology and products that are relevant to the challenge and use cases outlined on the accelerator webpage are invited to apply.
A cohort of up to 10 companies will be selected to proceed to the next stage, which involves pitching solutions to an esteemed panel of judges from some of the world’s most renowned travel companies, including American Express Global Business Travel, Priceline, Internova Travel Group, Direct Travel and Christopherson Business Travel.
A group of up to three participants will ultimately be selected to move to the final round, solving the challenge in collaboration with Travelport and AWS. Each will be given access to Travelport’s next-generation travel marketplace, Travelport+.
Selected start-ups may receive up to $100,000 in AWS Activate credit, and each participant will receive mentoring from travel domain and technical subject matter experts with deep experience working on AWS.
The program also offers collaboration opportunities with AWS travel customers and members of the AWS Partner Network (APN) looking for technology solutions to their most challenging problems.
“No single person or business has the solution to all of travel’s retailing challenges,” said Tom Kershaw, chief product and technology officer at Travelport.
“The most effective way to drive innovation, especially at pace, is to unite bright minds from diverse backgrounds and geographic locations, and focus their energy on solving a specific problem.
“That’s precisely what Travelport Accelerator will do. We look forward to working with companies across the world, both large and small, to drive the modernisation of travel retailing for the benefit of the entire travel ecosystem.”
David Peller, managing director of AWS Travel and Hospitality, said: “With millions of active customers, AWS enables organisations of every size, around the world, to innovate.
“Travelport Accelerator supports that effort by giving travel innovators the potential to pitch their technology to some of the most influential leaders in the global travel industry and to influence the future of travel retailing.
“We’re proud to collaborate with Travelport on this as we work together to optimise Travelport+ and create a simpler, smarter and better future for travel retailing.”
The first challenge set by Travelport and AWS is to introduce cutting-edge digital marketing technology for travel companies, which uses behavioural and demographic traveller data to deliver highly targeted and personalised, real-time offers to customers.
The solution must complement the advanced capabilities of Travelport+, which in a normal year will process hundreds of millions of travel transactions, and reduce the cost of customer acquisition and retention for Travelport’s customers.
Applications will be judged on several factors including the innovative and unique nature of the solution, the overall value it will bring to the industry, the creative application of technology to solve problems, and the team’s ability to deliver on the opportunity with Travelport and its customers.