Industry Roundtable: The Future Of Corporate Travel, The Evolving Role Of The TMC And The Impact Of NDC

In this important roundtable, we bring together some of the most influential people in the corporate travel industry today to discuss the future of the industry and the key drivers for change. The evolving role of the TMC and the potential changes and opportunities created by of IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC) are just some of the topics to be discussed.

During this interactive session you will have the opportunity to learn more about the status of NDC, discuss the key drivers of change across the business travel industry and interact with our panel of experts to hear their views on “what’s next?”

The TMC in the next few years: what is their role in today’s travel environment, are they still relevant and what changes can we expect?
One of the biggest decisions a buyer has to make is whether to partner with a TMC, and like any big decision there are many different factors to consider. Once considered a central pillar of the industry, the role of the TMC has evolved as more and more clients move towards direct supplier negotiations. TMCs have the knowledge, contacts and back office systems that can prove invaluable in assisting buyers with the management and planning of their programmes but may show disposition to certain suppliers and impose expensive transaction fees. Being confined to one provider also means there’s an inherent lack of choice and flexibility with the kinds of booking tools on offer.Meanwhile, the industry is on the cusp of changes that will help facilitate greater transparency – but this may require buyers to “knit together” their travel programmes in ways they have not had to previously.  For example, the buyer may need an agreement with several airlines, a TMC, a reporting company, an online booking tool, potentially a GDS … and others. While those separate relationships bring the transparency some buyers have been asking for, they are not as easy as having a centralised service offering via the TMC.  As these models evolve, do buyers still want transparency if it also means greater complexity, or are they happy to keep paying TMC transaction fees – even if those costs may need to change as the industry commercial models change?

Driver for change: How will NDC change the airline distribution model and what will this mean for the customer? 
NDC has promised to deliver a seamless booking experience for the customer by allowing airlines to provide an enhanced retail offering through indirect distribution channels. This means third parties like agents/TMCs have full access to all of an airline’s product, including ancillaries, and can book non ticket items in one transaction. This panel will provide an overview of what NDC means for the travel industry and travel buyer and whether it is having a material impact on how airlines are marketing and distributing their product. It will examine the future role of incumbent intermediaries such as the GDS and whether airline surcharges on fares booked outside NDC channels is a sustainable strategy.

Moderator: Festive Road, Principal, Mike Orchard

  • AFTA, Chief Executive, Jayson Westbury
  • American Airlines, General Manager Australia and New Zealand Sales, Simon Dodd
  • ATMC, Chairman, Rob Dell
  • Amadeus IT Pacific, Managing Director Corporations, Ingrid Picard
  • Corporate Travel Management, Global Head of Partnerships, Scott Ward
  • IATA, Director NDC Program, Yanik Hoyles

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