Gavin O’Connell, Development Adviser with Enterprise Ireland’s High Potential Start-up Division, talks about Future Travel Experience and the massive opportunities for the future of Irish travel
With the significant lifting of restrictions in recent months, there has been an abrupt upswing in air travel. While challenges remain in the form of rising costs and staff shortages, airlines are still expected to return to profitability this year after a turbulent time for the sector.
“The return of in-person events, which offer companies the opportunity to network and build new leads, will add to this positive momentum in the sector, and organisations like Future Travel Experience (FTE) are leading the charge,” says Gavin O’Connell.
Future Travel Experience is running the co-located FTE EMEA, FTE Ancillary & FTE World Airport Retailing Summit events, at the RDS in Dublin from 7th-9th June. “Ireland is emerging as a hub of innovators in this changing travel industry, so it is no wonder that it was chosen as the location for this event.”
FTE is dedicated to improving the end-to-end passenger experience and business performance through independent events and online media. From 7th-9th June, the organisation is running the co-located FTE EMEA, FTE Ancillary and FTE World Airport Retailing Summit events at the RDS in Dublin. With Ireland emerging as a hub of challengers and innovators in the dynamic travel tech industry, it is no wonder that Dublin was chosen as the location for this summit, a major European event in the aviation calendar.
Ireland and an array of ground-breaking Irish companies are delivering state-of-the-art technology and world-leading customer experiences in the sector. Our own data demonstrates that Ireland has become a global hub for travel tech innovation, with approximately 100 Irish based companies operating in the sector. And the presence of some of the leading travel brands in Ireland, such as Airbnb, Hostelworld, CarTrawler and Trip Advisor, has contributed to our strong global reputation in this sector.
This uniquely concentrated and collaborative ecosystem presents a wealth of opportunities for Irish travel tech companies to grow their business. Companies such as Rainmaker, which improves costs management for airlines through several solutions, from crew pay management to fuel consumption and conservation, is leading the way in innovation.
“Future Travel Experience provides an excellent platform to showcase how innovative Irish companies, like Rainmaker, are creating solutions to industry challenges,” Gavin adds.
Future Travel Experience Show
This is Enterprise Ireland’s first year as an official Headline Partner of Future Travel Experience. As this is the first major in-person travel tech event to take place in Ireland in over two years, there is a strong interest across the sector, both locally and internationally.
Over 800 senior air transport executives from across the world are due to travel to Dublin for this event, including Ryanair, Lufthansa, Finnair, Turkish Airlines, Avalon and Cathay Pacific.
“The theme of this year’s summit is ‘Scaling Innovation’. It will allow travel tech companies from across the world to showcase their innovative offerings in the area of operations, customer experience, commercial, product, service, safety, and sustainability,” Gavin explains. “It will also provide them critical exposure to the world’s leading airlines and airports.”
Adding: “Companies will also have the opportunity at the event to build connections and forge new partnerships through networking with executives from around the world, and to benchmark innovations against the industry’s best.“
Enterprise Ireland will be hosting six client companies at our stand. Among the Irish companies that will be exhibiting at the event are Verifly from Irish biometric identity assurance specialist Daon. It is one of the world’s most popular platforms for handling Covid-19 travel requirements. Rainmaker and Salmon Software, which specialises in Treasury Management Software, are among the established companies exhibiting at the summit.
Early-stage Enterprise Ireland client Frequency will also be showcasing its aviation collaboration platform that connects frontline, operation control centres and leadership. And TripAdmit, that is driving ancillary revenue in the sector with its white label solution which allows airlines and airports to offer bookable tours and activities to customers, will also be present.
The future of travel
At the Innovation & Start-up Hub Live, which takes place on 7th June at the summit, start-ups will have the opportunity to pitch to a panel of international airlines, airports and VCs with a focus on the topics of sustainability and automation.
The event will feature ground-breaking solutions designed to help airlines, airports, and other stakeholders to tackle global problems. For example, at Enterprise Ireland’s stand, award-winning SaaS technology company CX Index will display its suite of tools which ensure the right passenger data gets to the right team within the airline to drive customer experience improvements.
“Innovation and collaboration are truly key to rebuilding this sector and we look forward to helping bring these ideas under one roof. The event will play an important role in our efforts to help Irish businesses operating in the travel tech sector to start, grow, innovate, and win export sales in global markets,” Gavin concludes.