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American Express Global Business Travel President discusses NDC and talent attraction at Business Travel Show Europe 2023

Drew Crawley, AMEX with Karen Hutchings, EY
Drew Crawley, AMEX with Karen Hutchings, EY

Gain valuable insights into the implementation of New Distribution Capability (NDC) in the travel industry as discussed by American Express Global Business Travel President at Business Travel Show Europe 2023. Explore the role of Travel Management Companies (TMCs), evolving travel policies, and collaboration for success in this changing landscape.

TDN REPORT: London, UK – American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) President, Drew Crawley, recently engaged in a conversation with Karen Hutchings, Global Head of Travel, Meetings and Events at EY, during the Business Travel Show Europe 2023 in London. The interview shed light on crucial topics such as New Distribution Capability (NDC) and talent attraction within the travel industry.

NDC, a technology that impacts the entire business travel ecosystem, was a major point of discussion. Crawley emphasized that while NDC is a positive development for airlines, as it enables them to showcase their products more effectively, its implementation remains complex and costly. He acknowledged the need for airlines to make more money to ensure a healthy industry but highlighted that the costs would ultimately be borne by the buyers.

The conversation then delved into content removal and the challenges it presents. Hutchings mentioned a study conducted by EY, which found that 80% of fares on the GDS (Global Distribution System) were still lower compared to booking directly on an airline’s website. Crawley agreed and stressed the value that Travel Management Companies (TMCs) bring in terms of transparency and a comprehensive shopping experience for customers. He emphasized that TMCs have access to data that can help customers determine if they are getting a competitive deal.

In response to the changing landscape, Crawley recommended that travel policies be adapted to consider factors beyond the lowest fare. With the increasing complexity brought about by NDC and the fragmentation of distribution, he urged travel managers to work closely with TMCs to fine-tune their travel programs and ensure they are getting the desired value.

The conversation then shifted to talent attraction in the industry. Crawley highlighted the need for companies to differentiate themselves and establish a sense of purpose that goes beyond financial success. He emphasized the importance of environmental responsibility and having a credible plan to attract new talent. Crawley noted that GBT’s sense of purpose, “power and progress through travel,” aligns with social and environmental progress, making the company an attractive option for potential employees.

In conclusion, the interview shed light on the impact of NDC on the industry and the challenges and opportunities it presents. It also highlighted the importance of transparency, value, and differentiation in attracting and retaining talent within the travel sector. The ongoing transformation in the industry requires adaptation and collaboration between travel managers and TMCs to navigate the complexities and ensure successful travel programs.

Theodore Koumelis
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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.