NDC adoptions are accelerating and the technology is proving to be an important tool in travel retailing as companies seek to become more responsive and agile to customers’ needs in the travel space.
A new report from Amadeus details acknowledges the need for NDC technology and the hurdles that remain a challenge, preventing widespread adoption. These challenges include the need to upgrade airline systems, embrace a common NDC standard, and transformation of mid- and back-office systems for travel sellers.
Noted in the report are the expectations of travelers for travel products that mirror brands such as Amazon, Netflix and Spotify in their capabilities, delivering a seamless, relevant and personalized experience. IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC) is proving to be a foundation for digital retailing across the sector.
While the pandemic led to a global slowdown in travel, progress on technology continued and arguably became more important. The report from Amadeus illustrated the standard’s readiness across the industry. Insights from airlines, travel agencies and corporations, as well as Amadeus’ own experts, demonstrate that NDC momentum has accelerated over the past 18 months, and the report concludes that 2021 is the year that NDC is being adopted at scale.
“If we compare where we were 18 months ago to today, it’s clear that despite the strain caused by COVID-19, the industry has not sacrificed its commitment to NDC,” said ángel Gallego, executive vice president, travel distribution, Amadeus. “On the airline side, we are now seeing new differentiated product bundles and price points. On the travel seller side, every Amadeus-connected travel seller will be able to book NDC content, alongside content sourced in other ways, by the end of this year. On the technology side, we have continued to deliver on our promise to offer scalable, innovative solutions that incorporate vital features such as post-booking servicing.”
Gallego added: “It is encouraging to see that the industry increasingly views NDC as a key pillar of recovery. With modern digital retailing, travel will be based around dynamic offers and this will deliver a competitive edge to airlines and travel sellers that embrace this change. Now is the time to engage with NDC to power great journeys for travelers and rebuild travel.”
The report didn’t just focus on the increase in need and use of NDC technology but also highlighted the barriers that the tech faces in widespread adoption. In addition to upgrades for airline systems, the transformation of mid- and back-office systems for travel sellers and the need to embrace a common NDC standard, the report detailed the need for collaboration and experimentation to advance adoption.
The report noted that through greater collaboration, it will be easier to recognize challenges and interests, helping to align goals and deliver the end-to-end value the entire ecosystem expects. Experimentation and testing are also necessary for the industry to better understand how NDC technology can improve digital retailing and the overall travel experience as a whole.