9 Nov 2023
In August 2019, Greg Webb joined Travelport as Chief Executive Officer. The travel technology company, which powers bookings for hundreds of thousands of travel suppliers worldwide, had recently been taken private and was about to undergo a tremendous digital transformation with the intention of solving some of the biggest problems in travel retailing.
But then, in March 2020, the pandemic hit, and the global travel industry went from all-time highs to a low of only five percent of expected volumes overnight. While travel initially grounded to a halt, the pandemic eventually amplified and accelerated the need for the industry to get modern. Webb used this time to streamline Travelport’s operations, doubling down on the company’s investment in technology to ensure its next-generation platform, Travelport+, was ready when travellers were.
A next-generation platform to simplify travel retailing
Travelport+ is the only modern retailing platform built for travel agencies. It connects buyers (traditional travel agencies, online booking apps, corporate travel management companies, and more) and sellers of travel (airlines, hotels, trains, car rental companies, etc) through a single, independent marketplace. Similar to Amazon, Travelport+ eliminates back-end complexities that cause long, mind-numbing searches for the perfect hotel room or make it difficult to shop and compare flights or car rentals.
The company’s global presence brings a variety of cultures, opinions and ideas to the table daily
Consumers expect digital experiences to be intuitive, frictionless, and fast. Other businesses have pushed the boundaries of digital innovation, but the travel industry has lagged. According to research by Travelport, booking travel is often regarded as tedious as evaluating mortgage or car insurance options. In fact, on average, travellers visit 38 websites before they book a trip. The lack of price transparency, difficulty in comparison shopping and the feeling of hidden costs all further erode consumer trust.
Webb is keen to improve upon the lack of transparency in the travel industry and is a longtime advocate for greater industry collaboration. His focus on transparency extends to Travelport’s corporate culture as well, where he regularly prioritises all-company townhall meetings, direct weekly communication, and more.
Investment in technology
Travelport continues to evolve its modern retailing platform with enhanced tools and new solutions that are designed to be intuitive, frictionless and fast. Additionally, the company is always looking for new areas to expand into, and in March 2023, the company announced the acquisition of Deem, a leading corporate travel management platform. Deem shares a similar goal of modernising a complex industry, more specifically offering the corporate travel landscape a more customer-centric booking tool. Just five months after the acquisition, Travelport had fully integrated the Deem and Travelport+ platforms, allowing shared corporate travel customers to book and manage their work trips in the same way they would their personal trips. This means more self-service, intuitive recommendations, real-time updates and changes that can be made on-the-go.
Supportive, transparent leadership strengthens team output
Webb’s vision and strategic direction have been instrumental in driving Travelport’s growth. His passion for the travel industry and his commitment to excellence have made him an inspirational and respected leader in the sector. It has also made Travelport a company that continues to lead the industry.
The company takes pride in cultivating a diverse and inclusive workplace where employees are encouraged to think differently and try new things. Travelport is committed to equality, prioritising a work environment where all employees can confidently, and comfortably, share their opinions and challenge the norm. The company’s global presence brings a variety of cultures, opinions and ideas to the table daily, something Webb believes is vital to Travelport’s success.
Change is for the brave
Looking to the future, Travelport continues to be committed to simplifying the complexities of the travel industry by inventing new solutions where there currently are none. Webb and the Travelport team work with industry partners who share their passion for delivering exceptional experiences and creating best-in-class technological solutions. The company continues to invest in the latest advancements, such as cloud computing, data-driven intelligence, machine learning and AI capabilities. The result is a more efficient and personalised travel retailing experience, which will continue to drive the industry towards a bold new era.