[TravelChain offline] Online Travel 3.0 (Moscow) + World BlockChain Summit (Dubai)

in travelchain •  last year

Preparation for an ICO is not only about packaging of the product, but it also involves promotion. TravelChain team is perfectly represented offline, it visits the most important events dedicated to in blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies. The team's members appear at many venues, they talk about the project, answer questions, make new contacts.
In the TravelChain offline section you can find detailed reports on the events, reports on the project presentation to the audience and other interesting details of the brightest events in blockchain sphere.

This week, two delegations were representing the project on different events. Alex Soloviev, the project co-founder, video producer Maxim Uvarov, traffic expert Roman Ufaev and community managers Anna White and Konstantin Chanchikov traveled to the capital - these days Moscow hosts the 5th international conference Online Travel 3.0.
As the organizers state,

For 4 years, conference Online Travel 3.0 has worked up a reputation of the main industry event in the online travel segment
in Russia. Leading market players, beginning start-up projects and foreign companies planning to develop business in Russia choose Online Travel conference.

Speakers and Speeches

Jan-Paul Ephitite, the leading product manager, gave a speech on behalf of Travelport. He argued that today an individual approach is more important for clients than the brand of a company. In other words, the offer personalization is important, and the efforts should be directed in that way. That is why they are now actively working in this direction.
Jan-Paul also mentioned that one of their main competitive advantages is that they have a lot of data.
The next speaker was Grach Muradyan, head of the IT projects group Amadeus. He said that when a person is just beginning to look for information, we do not really know anything about him yet. And there you can find a room for TravelChain, because it allows you to identify the customer at an early stage. Frankly speaking, at the moment, the problem is to identify a person, to understand who he is and what needs he has.

Another representative of Travelport, said that GDS * is an oligopoly, but is totally okay. In general, during the discussion, they were always trying to justify the reason for GDS existence.

*Global Distribution System (GDS) –international computer booking system.

The participants had a vivid discussion about who brings a real value to the value chain and what this value is. There is a service provider whose job is to provide services. Next, there is GDS connecting everyone, providing integration of hundreds of airlines, for example. There is a thousand something airlines and 500 of them work through this GDS. And each company has its own standards. And GDS including Travelport integrate all these airlines into one system, and any company can already connect to it as to a single standard. But at the same time, the companies risk to fall under its influence. There were plenty of talks that OTA (Online Travel Agencies) representatives somehow need to find a balance between different channels, so that in case of changing commissions or even some parameters, they could rely on another channel, so they would not depend on one company, one GDS standard and etc.

People also talked about some kind of standards struggle. Some interesting analogies with other industries were made. For example, in the market of audio carriers as a result of the struggle between cassettes and disks, the mp3 standard prevailed. At the same time, the standard [NDC] was discussed a lot (http://www.ato.ru/content/novaya-strategiya-distribucii-ndc-v-aviaindustrii).

** Igor Novikov, a representative of SkyScanner **, one of the largest air ticket sales companies, expressed the opinion that the era of price comparison is closing, and now users want more than just a low price. They want to have a more flexible choice, they want to be able to order some additional services and so on.
Novikov also said that now the company is developing in the direction of the so-called direct booking. How it works? For example, Aeroflot flights are displayed on the SkyScanner website, and Aeroflot can make changes to the information on this site, in other words, add new features to the flight (a Wi-Fi option, for example). So, a carrier can directly communicate with his clients through a third-party site, in this case through the SkyScanner website: it can set the characteristics of its flights on its own.

Dmitry Migachev, the director of AlfaStrakhovanie partner online sales, gave a speech: "Flying travelers in Russia: who, why and how?"
Migachev also talked about personalization and about the termination of the free insurance era. According to him, now, the time has come when Ivan Ivanych needs a personal insurance with the parameters that suit Ivan Ivanych, and not just a standard insurance for a family or a company of friends. The discussion was, of course, in the travel market context, in other words, in the sphere of air tickets, package tours booking and selling and so on.
Some people who buy things on their own do not care about insurance. And there are people traveling on official business - their expenses are paid by the company. They always put all the ticks, because all their expenses are fully covered. The more ticks they put on the site, the more bonuses they get. That is why it is important to know your customer and make a personalized offer.

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On new contacts and communicating with colleagues in the travel market

TravelChain team ceased the opportunity to talk with the head of the IT projects group of Amadeus Hrachik Muradyan who told them how their GDS works. In course of the dialogue with Muradyan, a preliminary agreement was reached to arrange a presentation for the Amadeus management, when TravelChain makes a certain offer to them. In Amadeus they want to know what specific data TravelChain will accumulate, and this can give a ground to start discussing possible cooperation.

Amadeus is GDS and not a direct seller. When you make a request on Aviasales, then this request is send to Amadeus, after that Amadeus gives the answer and Aviasales displays it to you. At the same time, Amadeus has a very flexible prefiltration input system to provide the user with more personalized requests for you.

Grach Muradyan is advising TravelChain

Both Aviasales and Onetotrip can send flexible requests, but they do not do it, because they are afraid that some extra settings in the interface, unnecessary ticks will reduce the conversion, complicate the product and scare off the customers. But at the same time, if the automated system, for example, determined that it is ordered by the family, then based on this, it would display some relevant options. And, for example, a personalized offer with the cheapest options can be made to an 83-level traveler who is ready to make shifts on the route, wait for a long time, and who just needs to get the lowest price.

A Onetotrip representative expressed doubts whether the market players are interested in TravelChain, because the project involves creating the so-called "open content" - information on affordable flights and hotels, etc. In the market, everyone is fighting for the uniqueness of this content, which they can present on their sites: deals they make with other players at prices, places they can find content.
Perhaps, it is unprofitable for monopolists, however, for other market participants it is an opportunity to create an alternative model to store and use data that will make the influence of large players lower.
Broadly speaking, what does everyone fight for? It is unique content and usability. These are two things that all the existing services are based on. And if TravelChain excludes from privileges such a thing as the content uniqueness, the creators will have to work hard on usability.

Our delegates also talked with representatives of online services travelata.ru and biletix.ru, who took an interest to the project. During the dialogue, the parties agreed to meet and discuss everything in detail, work out the product according to the existing needs.

The second TravelChain delegation which included Ilya Orlov, the project's CEO, CTO Orkhan Zeynalli and chief public relations officer Ivan Begunov, headed for Dubai yesterday, where another notable event is taking place - the World BlockChain Summit.

Greeting at the summit

According to our colleagues, there are many Russian start-ups represented at the summit, and most of the investors and the rest of the audience are from Europe, the Arab Emirates and India.

People were constantly talking with each other between presentations.

The participants of the summit took a genuine interest in the TravelChain project, there were a lot of people taking part in the discussion.

"Here, we are one of the most, if not the most, cheerful team. We distributed all the White Papers, and we had about 100 of them, everything is very positive here... We get just an enormous feedback, we are perfectly handling the questions."
Orkhan Zeynalli, CTO TravelChain.

During the conference our delegates had made some interesting acquaintances. One of the new acquaintances is Richard G. Kastelein, a man who took part in the Barack Obama election campaign, and now he is an advisor in more than 11 projects. Richard promised to carefully review the TravelChain overview and think about cooperation.

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Also, our colleagues got acquainted with the employee of the Department of Tourism of the Ministry of Economy of Dubai and agreed on the negotiations. Members of the government of Dubai take serious interest regarding tourist startups. Dubai is the epicenter of the travel industry in the Arab Emirates, they are highly involved in innovative technologies and are considering various options for cooperation with blockchain projects.

Members of the TravelChain team actively communicated with investors, advisors and representatives of various startups, including quite important persons, for example, representatives of NEM, which spent $40 million only on marketing, DubaiWelltradeCentre and others.

Follow our posts, and soon we will update you on the second day of the events and how they go for Travelchain delegations in Dubai and Moscow!

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