Discover more from Travel Tech Essentialist
Travel Tech Essentialist #220: Creativity and Meaning
Today’s newsletter gravitates around the transformative potential in a path that embraces creativity, heart, and meaning. I hope you enjoy it.
If you ever see that there’s two bad options and you’re trying to pick between them, sometimes the right path is the third path. And that third path requires creativity. A lot of businesses need more heart and more imagination. — Brian Chesky, Airbnb co-founder
When I think about the things that allow me to get meaning out of what I do, I’m really thinking about the things that make it worth investing my life in. Doug Kessler (40 years dedicated to B2B Marketing)
There's a big, big difference between approaching a problem rationally and approaching a problem creatively. The rational person sees a contradiction and thinks of it as a trade-off - the creative person sees a contradiction and tries to resolve it. To economists there is no such thing as a free lunch: to creative people there are free lunches everywhere. —Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman at Ogilvy
This newsletter is sponsored by Pattern
Discover Pattern, the global InsurTech MGA, revolutionizing the online travel, recreation, and events industry. Our platform enables you to seamlessly embed insurance into your customer journey with relevant, personalized offers.
With Pattern, create customer trust by addressing key risks like a change of plans, travel disruption, bad weather, and medical assistance.
Contact Pattern to learn more.
0. The most clicked link in the previous newsletter
The most clicked link in Travel Tech Essentialist #119 was Europe’s Travel And Accommodations Sector in 44 charts
1. Brian Chesky sees design as one of the most important skills in the 21st century
Key takeaways from a recent fireside with Brian Chesky:
Airbnb will refocus on being design-led. Design is how something fundamentally works, not just how something looks. It is fundamental to Airbnb's business model, org structure, and operations.
He aims to run Airbnb as a designer, similar to Apple's Steve Jobs, Jony Ive, and Hiroki Asai.
Emphasizing the importance of hypothesis-driven experiments as opposed to A/B testing.
Customer complaints about hidden fees and rising prices are a signal that Airbnb should focus on rekindling customers' love for its core service before pursuing new initiatives.
Got rid of the classic product management function, integrated it into product marketing, and increased the role of designers.
Emphasis on integrating marketing and product development for effective communication, product awareness and product experience.
2. The search for meaning in photography
Lisbon-based creative photographer Hugo Suissas uses his camera and his creativity to trick the eyes. Entirely self taught, the photographer incorporates everyday objects in scenes where they don’t seem to belong, forcing us to see objects and places in a new way. He is motivated by an inner drive to produce one-of-a-kind and meaningful creations: “What made me get here is my almost uncontrollable desire to create things that haven’t been done before on this planet, or any other in the galaxy.”
Go to his Instagram for more of his amazing photos.
3. The search for meaning in B2B marketing
B2B isn't altruistic or glamorous. How can B2B marketers spend their lives doing it and still feel motivated? Doug Kessler, Creative Director at Velocity Partners (a quirky B2B marketing agency with big shot clients like AWS, and Salesforce), has been doing B2B marketing for 40 years. He wrote an engaging piece on why B2B marketing is not just an OK thing to devote one’s life and career to, but why it’s a worthy thing. You’ll appreciate the content and the original format and style. Read +.
4. The first flight ever to be fully booked by an AI
5. Conversational AI sales and customer service agents are here
Miami-based software company Air AI launched the world's first ever conversational AI that can perform full 5-40 minute long sales & customer service calls over the phone that sound like a human. And can perform actions autonomously across 5,000 unique applications. Listen to "Alexander, from Tesla Motors" talking to a potential Tesla client. Air AI cofounder Caleb Maddix points out that there are some solid latency optimizations in the coming weeks, so this is the worst it will ever be.
6. Hospitality Tech Stack Trends and Innovations
The Hotel Yearbook Technology overviews the emerging technology trends and innovations that will impact the global hotel industry. It brings insights from numerous industry thought leaders around various themes: Tech Stack, Data & Security, Distribution & Revenue, Guest Journey, Innovation, Human Stack, and Generative AI.
7. American Express Global Travel Trends Report
The report highlights the driving forces behind global traveler behaviors and how these factors are shaping the future of travel. Findings are based on data obtained through an online poll conducted among a sample of 1,000 travelers from Australia, Canada, India, Japan, Mexico, UK and 2,000 travelers in the US. Read +.
At a glance:
Pop culture is driving decision-making about where to travel and what to do when you get there.
Travellers want to discover lesser-known destinations and hidden gems, in a way that benefits locals and future visitors. 🤔 This is a bit inconsistent with the previous finding…If travelers rely on pop culture (TV shows, Instagram, TikTo, Facebook) to decide where to go, it doesn’t look like they will be travelling off the beaten path much.
Food is a huge part of travel, with consumers planning entire vacations around dining experiences.
Wellness wave. Restorative vacations are on the rise.
8. Integrating art into hospitality and commercial spaces
Luxury brands are defying the perception that art and commerce don't mix. This article by Kristoff D’Oria analyzes this emerging trend, drawing insights from the worlds of luxury retail, neuroaesthetics, and psychology and it explores how art is integrated into commercial spaces such as restaurants, hotels, stores, and offices. These spaces can transform a customer’s experience from purely transactional to an emotional experience that offers more than just goods and services. The article concludes with first principles and key takeaways for businesses interested in embarking on this creative journey.
9. The airline industry shift to Virtual Interlining
Virtual Interlining could soon account for 12 to 15% of all flight bookings sold, according to TripStack. This would correspond to over 500 million passengers annually. Amadeus confirms that selected airlines have already reached a 12% Virtual Interlining threshold in 2021.
This post by OAG explores the shift in airline inventory from traditional code-sharing and network agreements to Virtual Interlining. It covers three main areas:
The Evolution of Airline Agreements: From initial code-sharing agreements to formal network agreements, culminating in the advent of Virtual Interlining over the past decade.
The State of the Virtual Interlining Market Today: Assesses the current market size and its potential for future growth. It also provides an overview of the pioneering Virtual Interlining initiatives by major airlines and airports.
Tech Ecosystem Surrounding Virtual Interlining: Hghlights the top ten most innovative travel-tech startups in the Virtual Interlining space, illustrating the evolving tech landscape underpinning this trend.
10. Fundraising and Partnerships
American Airlines improves Landline bus connections via Philadelphia. Its passengers traveling by Landline’s bus service from Atlantic City or Allentown/Bethlehem can now clear airport security at the bus station. When they arrive in Philadelphia, the bus will drop them airside, avoiding the need to clear security. Read +.
The French government launches France Travel Tech to support young entrepreneurs with innovative ideas in the travel sector, with the objective to consolidate France as the #1 travel destination in the world. Read + (in French)
PS. Do you want to sponsor this newsletter?
All the newsletter sponsorship slots for 2023 were sold out by December 2022. I am now opening up the newsletter sponsorship slots for 2024. If you are interested in reserving one or more newsletters for 2024 or would like more information, please go here.
The Travel Tech Essentialist talent network has companies across the travel tech landscape that are currently hiring. If you’re a candidate looking for new opportunities, apply here to join at no cost to you and get introduced directly to hiring companies.
Featured job openings
JP Morgan Chase: Business & Program Manager - Travel (New York) |$114k-$182k
Fora Travel: Head of Data & Insights (New York City) | $150k-$175k
Fora Travel: Senior Technical Product Manager (New York City) | $130k-$150k
TravelPerk: Senior Director Brand Marketing (Barcelona)
Travel Investor Network
Travel Investor Network is a private platform launched by Travel Tech Essentialist for investors and innovators to discover innovative travel startups. In the first nine cohorts (October-July), I’ve recommended 94 startups from 27 countries.
→ If you are a startup looking to raise a round (from pre-seed to Series D), maybe I can help (for free). Please start by completing this form.
→ If you are an investor interested in joining the Travel Investor Network, please complete this form.
If you like Travel Tech Essentialist, please consider sharing it with your friends or colleagues and hitting the heart button up top (it helps more readers discover it):
If you’re not yet subscribed, you can do so here:
Thanks for trusting me with your inbox,