For those of you following the saga of IATA’s NDC initiative (I know you have better things to do, and so do I, especially because this moves at a glacial pace), I’m sure you noted the latest study focusing on the perspectives of global travel managers.
Prepared by Festive Road and commissioned by IATA, the study suggests that concerns still exist among the buyer community. True the sample size was very small (17 in total), but my independent anecdotal random review of the situation corroborates the findings that suggest that buyers remain concerned (at worst) and on the fence (at best), relative to NDC.
Their concerns fall into three primary areas: the potential lack of fare transparency across booking channels; the ability to effectively manage ancillary services; and the continued access of corporate negotiated rates.
After all this time spent trying to educate and quell the fears of the travel community, concerns over NDC still exist. In fact, not much has changed.
The report concluded by suggesting that buyers need more information, and further recommended ways to change the prevailing perceptions.
But I have a different recommendation based on the old sales axiom, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression:” Scrap the entire project. IATA should wait six months, and then reintroduce the exact same program, renamed TBAAP (Travel Buyers Ancillary Assistance Program). What travel manager would be able to resist a program designed to help them manage airline ancillaries better?