June 7, 2021

Arabian Travel Market: Using technology to adapt to the new reality

We were thrilled to have a one-to-one interview with Travolution’s Lee Hayhurst on the opening day of this year’s Arabian Travel Market, the world’s leading event for the Middle East travel industry. 

In ‘The Application of Technology to Adapt to the New Reality’, Gavin Harris, our Commercial Director of Strategic Partnerships, talks about how Skyscanner is helping travellers navigate today’s complex landscape by surfacing essential guidance and advice throughout the booking journey.

3698  The Application of Technology to Adapt to the New Reality


Gavin talks about how, now that the world is beginning to travel again, it’s never been more important for businesses to have access to real-time, forward-looking data to make faster, smarter decisions, spot signs of recovery and understand demand. 

This is shown in the high levels of pent-up demand we’re seeing after restrictions are eased and travel corridors announced. After Portugal was added to the UK’s green list on 7 May, bookings to the country increased by 616% WoW, while there was a 46% WoW increase in searches to the UAE despite it being on the UK’s red list. 

Building traveller confidence will be the key to reopening travel – and will be led by surfacing clear, transparent information and advice for travellers. Gavin shares what Skyscanner has done to make this possible, including our: 

  • COVID-19 map and travel information – showing dynamic information so people have clear guidance and up-to-date information on destination restrictions and entry requirements.
  • Flexible search filters – enabling travellers to filter results based on change or cancellation policies. 

  • Insurance offerings – both standalone and in-funnel to offer travellers peace of mind.  

  • Airline confidence ratings – showcasing the safety scores by airlines based on five key factors. 
  • Digital health passes and the integral role this new technology will play in enabling future travel in a safe and secure way. 

The interview was followed by a panel discussion with experts sharing how new technology is helping them respond to travel’s recovery and the long-term impact of COVID-19. Speaking were:

  • Daniela Wagner, Business Development Director, Jacobs Media Group
  • Melanie Bryant, Regional Director, Consulting, Onboarding and Optimisation, Travelport 

  • Tony Smyth, Vice President Corporate Development & Communications, iFREE Group
  • David Klippenstein, Government Services, Mastercard
  • Alex Villeyra, Chief Operating Officer, Mabrian