AWS for Industries

Innovation Born from Disruption: the 2021 Digital Transformation Report

This has been a disruptive 18 months for travel and hospitality companies, and how this pandemic will end remains ill-defined and elusive. The industry disruption is now all too familiar: airplanes idled, airport terminals shuttered, and hotels and dining rooms closed. This was a wakeup call for the travel and hospitality industry. New demands were placed on companies across the sector, creating an urgent need for solutions.

But the myriad pandemic challenges share a unifying theme: the long-overdue need for increasingly digital-first business practices, toolsets, analytics, and working methodologies to meet changing expectations. This concept, collectively called “digital transformation,” is an increasingly critical strategy for the travel and hospitality industry. Digital transformation can help:

  • Deliver experiences that satisfy travelers’ increasing preference for digitally communicating and shopping.
  • Accelerate the digitalization of travel company products and services, making them easier to price, promote, distribute, and purchase.
  • Enhance the ability of travel businesses to quickly adapt their business models and methods to unexpected shifts in demand and competition.
  • Assist with the analysis and forecasting of company operations, providing new insights that can drive better understandings and decisions.
  • Run businesses more efficiently and profitably by achieving more with less, cutting costs, and finding novel revenue sources.
  • Keep pace with or surpass industry competitors and weather larger, structural changes in the economy.

To understand how the industry is progressing into its digital transformation, AWS collaborated with Skift on the 2021 Digital Transformation Report to survey 1,000+ travel and hospitality industry leaders this summer across a diversity of sectors in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America. The report provides an important guide to the travel and hospitality industry as it embraces emerging digital realities and opportunities, as well as navigates the transformation challenges ahead.

Results show that a tidal wave of digital transformation is coming. 91% of industry leaders surveyed indicated that digital transformation is essential for their business. Yet only 29% indicated that their business is currently ahead of the curve when competing in an increasingly digital world. Furthermore, 87% indicated that it is even more important for their businesses to proceed with digital transformation post-pandemic.

The report answers key questions regarding digital transformation across  five key areas of the industry:

  1. Overall digital strategy: How do travel industry executives generally perceive digital transformation as a business objective? How does it align with their broader business goals? In addition, how (if at all) has Covid-19 affected their plans?
  2. Using data effectively: How do travel industry organizations intelligently utilize company and customer data to support their decision making? What impact will emerging tools, such as machine learning, have on their data analytics efforts going forward?
  3. Delivering a great customer experience: Does the travel industry have the best systems and technology to satisfy their increasingly digital-first customers?
  4. Technology investment trends: What technologies are travel companies investing in to support their digital transformation plans? What do they think about increasingly important technology solutions like cloud computing?
  5. Talent and organization: Do industry members believe that they have the right talent, training, and team structures to support digital first strategies?

Read the report to understand how innovation, born from the pandemic disruption, will ultimately innovate the travel and hospitality business. Companies leveraging the disruption as a catalyst for digital-first innovation are emerging stronger than before, with offerings that meet today’s customer expectations and cost structures that support fluctuating demand.

Companies innovating through the disruption

Travelport: As an independent marketplace helping to connect travelers with the companies selling travel products, this organization understands what is needed to support the industry’s demand fluctuations. As with most businesses, Travelport has had to consider novel methods of working, hiring, and forecasting demand for its computing resources in order to serve various stakeholders. Travelport’s collaboration with AWS to digitally transform its business includes a long-term partnership to power a simpler, smarter, and brighter future for travel retailing. This also includes the launch of a global startup accelerator program that will incubate new solutions for the industry’s biggest retail challenges.

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts: Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, the world’s largest hotel franchising company, has partnered with AWS to address its digital transformation. Wyndham will upgrade its technology infrastructure and deliver new guest services across all 21 of its hotel brands—including Days Inn, La Quinta, Microtel, Ramada, Super 8, and Wyndham. Utilizing AWS enables Wyndham to enhance business performance, reinvest approximately 45% of reduced data center operating costs, and shut down additional physical datacenters. This has put it on track to eventually run 90% of its infrastructure in the cloud. The announcement is part of Wyndham’s multiyear digital transformation and investment in technology that automates hotel reservations, supports its franchisees by simplifying operations, and enhances guest experiences across Wyndham properties globally.

ATPCO: Airline Tariff Publishing Company (ATPCO), the world’s primary source for airline retailing and pricing data, has partnered with AWS to digitally transform its global flight shopping data and distribution platform that hosts over 289 million fares in its database for over 400 airlines. The multi-year partnership will enable ATPCO to further modernize its applications in order to support faster, large-scale growth for airlines and partners, all while enabling novel solutions to be built more rapidly. ATPCO is leading the digital transformation to deliver this change with a continued focus on enabling airlines to utilize enhanced capabilities for consumers to find the best products and services they need. Moreover, this new collaboration with AWS enables ATPCO to innovate faster, scale more efficiently, and deliver the benefits of its digital transformation.

Get started with AWS

Curious about digital transformation and want some guidance on getting started? AWS stands ready to help. As the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform, we proudly hold the forefront of helping travel and hospitality businesses innovate and provide new ways to make tourism safe as we return to a sense of normalcy worldwide. We’ve observed first-hand how much digital innovation has been stimulated from the most recent disruptions, and in turn we are helping our customers build the next wave of travel and hospitality. Get started with AWS Travel & Hospitality here.

Shannon Adelman

Shannon Adelman

Shannon leads global operations for the Travel & Hospitality industry at Amazon Web Services (AWS), supporting strategy and execution of go-to-market strategies that help customers accelerate cloud adoption. Prior to joining AWS, Shannon held various leadership roles serving the travel and hospitality industry, including in consulting and tech, and is passionate about using data and insights to help travel industry companies drive strategic decision making. Originally from Los Angeles, she is now based in Washington, DC, and enjoys exploring through food, drink, and nature both while home and in faraway places.