Sabre to launch PowerSuite Cloud in Asia Pacific

The post Sabre to launch PowerSuite Cloud in Asia Pacific appeared first on TD (Travel Daily Media) Brand TD.

Charles Less, Senior Director, Agency Sales, Head of North and Southeast Asia, Sabre


Automation is key to enabling agencies to remain competitive in an increasingly complex and often time-consuming environment.  Sabre will soon be launching PowerSuite Cloud in Asia Pacific, which enables agencies to automate operations, get real-time business insights and enhance customer servicing. In an interview with Brand TD, Charles Less, Senior Director, Agency Sales, Head of North and Southeast Asia, Sabre shares more.

Brand TD: What has business been like for Sabre in the post covid era? What were the results for 2023 in Asia specifically.

Charles Less (CL): 2023 was a year of strong execution at Sabre. Our team members around the world delivered the commercial, operational, and product development success that drove strong financial results. We generated 15% top-line growth in 2023. This included strong bookings growth in our Global Distribution System.

As we move further into 2024, we’re seeing that travel demand across Asia Pacific is strong. While APAC was first to be hit by pandemic-related travel restrictions, some countries in the region were also among the last to remove or ease restrictions. Unlike the rest of the world, which has already experienced “Revenge Travelling”, we expect 2024 to be the year where APAC countries enjoy significant spikes in revenge travel. We carried out recent research with our own Sabre global workforce and found that respondents in Asia Pacific had a higher travel budget and more plans for 2024 leisure trips than their counterparts in other regions.

And this is a growth story backed up by other leading industry data. The Pacific Asia Tourism Association, for example, is forecasting strong annual increases in international visitor arrivals for 2024 with growth momentum continuing to 2026. And, the World Travel Market points out that APAC is a critical driver of the world’s inbound, outbound, and domestic travel sectors.

Together with China re-entering the global tourism stage, one of the key trends we’re seeing is the increasing importance of the South Korean market, with more bookings and strong airline capacity growth for Korean carriers. Routes from Korea to Japan, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Thailand are proving particularly popular for 2024, and we’re working with travel partners in South Korea to help to drive greater inbound tourism.

That’s just one example of growth that we’re seeing in the region. And, amid this growth, what is essential is that Sabre’s travel agency partners have the content, the tools and expertise they need to capitalize on industry growth and create their own strategic catalysts for business growth. We see huge opportunity across APAC, and we’re committed to giving our agency customers the solutions they need to thrive in this varied marketplace.

Brand TD: What is your growth strategy for Southeast Asia and North Asia?  

CL: Our growth strategy is technology driven and customer centric. We’re investing tens of millions of dollars in innovative products and solutions, including New Distribution Capability (NDC) technology, enriched content offerings for our travel agents, and AI/ML driven recommendation capabilities.

My team and I are here to ensure that Sabre’s leading-edge technology solutions are at the forefront of the digital transformation happening across the travel ecosystem in North and Southeast Asia. This means understanding the unique needs of our diverse travel partners across my region and ensuring they have the technology they need not only to meet their needs today, but to anticipate future trends, their business growth ambitions, and the ever-evolving demands of travellers.

Our growth strategies are designed to deliver modern distribution and retailing technology. By looking at the future of travel and the evolving marketplace, our multi-source content platform strategy is designed to efficiently increase agency and buyer access to relevant air content.  We use a wide array of airline products, including edifact, NDC, and low-cost carrier content, through all channels and points of sale and with leading shopping, retailing and automation capabilities. In addition, we have a distribution expansion strategy consisting of targeted resource and product investments to help drive growth in key markets and segments. In hotel distribution, we aim to increase bookings attached to our GDS marketing offerings.  Also, we’re excited about the payments opportunities offered through our Conferma platform, through which we believe we can become a leader in virtual cards.

Brand TD: Can you tell us briefly about the vast tech solutions that Sabre provides for the travel and hospitality industry?

CL: We sit at the very heart of the travel ecosystem, providing solutions for airlines, hoteliers, agencies, and other travel partners. This encompasses a wide range of established, new, and developing technological solutions, including our Global Distribution System (GDS), which ensures airlines can distribute their fares and offers to travel agents around the world.  Agents in turn have access to the rich content they need to create personalized travel itineraries for their clients. It also includes our intuitive Sabre Red 360 workflow, and NDC, which is evolving the way airlines market and sell their products and how travel agents can deliver intuitive and personalized travel experiences. We’re also evolving our Artificial Intelligence-powered solutions for airlines and agencies, developed in partnership with Google.

I am laser-focused on agencies, working to offer solutions important for them to thrive in today’s travel ecosystem. Automation is key to enabling agencies to remain competitive in an increasingly complex and often time-consuming environment.  They are increasingly using and talking to us about our automated exchange and refund solutions as well as our newer Automation Hub and TicketExpress. We’re also launching PowerSuite Cloud in Asia Pacific, which enables agencies to automate operations, get real-time business insights and enhance customer servicing. Our Sabre Red 360 workflow is used across the world by travel agents who want extensive travel options for their clients from an intuitive, connected workflow through to Sabre Virtual Payments offering an innovative and secure way to pay and get paid.

Brand TD: How can your tech solutions empower travel agents? How is tech driving customer acquisition and new channels for revenue generation?

CL: Our technology is always developed with our customers’ ambitions in mind; to enable them to achieve their business goals. What is increasingly clear is that consumer expectations are higher and more complex than ever before, and Sabre technology is enabling our travel partners to meet those demands while maximizing their own growth opportunities.

From automating repetitive tasks to give agents more time to spend with their customers and on their business strategy, to creating cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence-powered solutions to enhance revenue and the end-to-end traveller experience, Sabre technology is playing a pivotal role in improving customer success. Our advanced technology is reducing inefficiencies, maximizing revenue opportunities, growing our customers’ businesses, and creating personalized experiences for travellers.

Brand TD: What is a legacy code and how can navigating it be made easier for online travel agencies? Which are the main companies that you have helped with the same in your region?

CL: Looking not just at legacy code but at technological transformation, what is important is that, just as Sabre is undergoing our own technological transformation, we’re powering digital advancement for our agency partners. 2024 is a pivotal year for our own technological transformation at Sabre. We now have 100% of Sabre agency and airline shopping in the Cloud, and we’re on schedule to completely migrate to the Google Cloud this year. Our investment is enabling us to reduce costs, unlock greater efficiencies and capabilities, and enhance our ability to deliver transformative products and services at speed for our agencies and the wider travel ecosystem. Agencies who make their own strategic investments in advanced technology are positioning themselves for growth and market competitiveness.

Brand TD: How is AI impacting Sabre? What new trends are we likely to see in travel consumers’ behaviour because of AI.

CL: Let me turn this one around. I’d say that evolving consumer behaviour is driving advancements in AI so that the industry can meet ever-increasing traveller demands. And, rather than AI impacting Sabre, Sabre is impacting AI. We’re innovating every day to ensure that Sabre and our travel partners are at the leading edge of technological advancement. While our technology transformation to migrate from the mainframe to the Google Cloud has been moving at pace over the past few years, another team of Sabre engineers has been co-developing products and solutions utilizing Google’s state-of-the-art AI and machine-learning capabilities.

For agencies, we have our new Lodging AI solution, which embeds Google’s advanced machine learning technology to expand our suite of intelligent retailing services to hotel distribution. This new offering marks the introduction of Sabre Travel AI capabilities into the lodging sector, where we see significant opportunities to better align hotel property attributes to customer trip segmentation and preferences to deliver more personalized offerings. We’re continuing to work together with Google to create new AI-powered solutions and embed Sabre Travel AI into our existing solutions, so watch this space for more developments.




The post Sabre to launch PowerSuite Cloud in Asia Pacific appeared first on Brand TD.


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