Back in 2011, Scott Brinker, a marketing technology analyst, has unveiled his first version of the Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic with about 150 companies. In 2020, the Supergraphic contained about 8,000 companies. The Supergraphic has become “a desk companion” of every marketer out there.
So in 2018, we at AltexSoft decided that the travel tech sector deserved a similar map. The first version of the Travel Technology Providers Landscape consisted of 162 providers within ten travel tech product categories. Since then, we’ve received tons of feedback from readers and travel tech professionals about the companies we’ve missed, and justifiably so.
In March 2022, we updated the map to include 401 providers within thirteen categories. To reflect industry changes, we’ve added sections of Tours & Attractions providers, as well as Airline Consolidators, and Online Travel Agencies. And expanded the existing categories even further.
Today, in June 2023, we’ve introduced five more categories: Travel Agency Software, Travel Insurance Providers, AI in Travel Providers, Vacation Rental Management Software, and NDC and Flight Connectivity. Below, you will find the most recent version with over 500 providers. You are also free to read our transcript decoding the players on the map and what got updated since its previous installment.
How to use the infographic:
- Click on the image to open it in a new tab.
- To explore the providers directly, you can use a spreadsheet at the very end of the article where the companies are grouped by categories and alphabetically with links to their websites.
Transcript – What’s on the infographic?
Scott Brinker inspired not just us, but professionals from pretty much every field: there are big data, procurement, maritime, blockchain, sales, human resources, and many more technology landscapes. Many appreciated the way one graphic is able to visualize the structure and diversity of industry technologies. But as the graphic gets updated, it acquires another value – the ability to pinpoint how and when new software appears on the market.
According to these goals, we’ve identified eighteen product categories.
Hotel property management
Also known as property management systems (PMS), these solutions are used by hoteliers to fulfill reservation and administrative tasks in the property. What must be the largest category on our graphic, PMS products can have ample features (Hotelogix) or be minimalistic (Mews), can come independently (Chorum) or bundled up with other products (WuBook). We’ve also included prominent players that have PMS capabilities that must be integrated with core systems, such as concierge service Vouch and front-desk software GuestDiary.
You might notice that since the previous installment, some brands disappeared from the map. That’s due to some important changes in this category, namely:
- Such leading travel brands as Hotel Effectiveness, ProfitSword, Transcendent, and ALICE have been combined under the brand Actabl.
- A hotel data analytics platform Datavision was acquired by myDigitalOffice (MDO).
- A property management system for independent hotels, HotelConnect was rebranded as Noovy.
- A PMS Staylists closed and the company moved to a similar product called innStyle.
Hospitality connectivity and distribution
This category hosts products that help deliver rooms to the end customer via the complex distribution flow. This includes:
- channel managers by SiteMinder, RateTiger, and more that help hoteliers and the like to post their offers on many websites from one platform,
- metasearch engines (Kayak, Google Hotel Ads, and TripAdvisor) that consolidate tons of offers across the web for easy comparison,
- new direct distribution players such as Impala, Katanox, and HyperGuest,
- data mapping tools such as GIATA and Gimmonix, crucial for adequate data exchange, fell into this category as well.
Hotel reservation systems
Operating at the heart of a hotel, a central reservation system hosts its availability, rates, and inventory data, used to manage bookings. Often integrated with a channel manager, a CRS can be included with a PMS (eZee, D-Edge) or purchased independently (Sabre SynXis, OTRAMS).
Revenue management systems
We felt like revenue management solutions deserved a separate category, even though they sometimes come with PMS out of the box. As explained in our thematic video, revenue management is the number one tool for hotel success, which applies data analytics to make predictions and automate price optimization. Duetto, Cendyn, and IDeaS are some of the prominent market players.
In a recent installment, the RM category features revenue management platforms categred towards vacation rentals, including Beyond, DPGO, Wheelhouse, and more. At the same time, Beonprice has been rebranded as Beonx.
Wholesalers and bedbanks
Hotel wholesalers buy rooms in bulk at discounted prices and resell them to OTAs, travel agents, and other distributors. The market is relatively small with a few leaders such as Hotelbeds, WebBeds, and HProTravel.
Global distribution systems (GDSs)
Sabre, Amadeus, and Travelport stand as a never-changing monolith in the travel technology ecosystem. Although there are dozens of GDSs in the world, these three own over 90 percent of the market and keep expanding their distribution reach with a growing number of agreements with airlines and hotel room sellers.
Airline reservation systems
Similar to hotel CRSs, airline reservation systems store information about a carrier’s inventory, fares, schedules, PNRs, e-tickets, etc. Many airlines use CRSs provided by a GDS (Amadeus Altea, Navitaire, SabreSonic), but there are popular independent providers, too, including SITA Horizon, Radixx, Kiu, and more.
Airline schedules, pricing, and information providers
There are global connectivity solutions that provide technical or specific flight data. For example, Cirium and OAG provide flight scheduling information, ATPCO and Skyscanner provide fares, and SITA is useful for airport, baggage, and boarding data.
Airline operations management providers
Also called MRO (maintenance, repair, and operations) solutions, software for airlines includes a wide range of services from scheduling and load control to crew management and maintenance documentation. These products come both from big aviation companies, such as Airbus’ Navblue and Lufthansa Systems, but also from specialized providers such as IBS Software, AMS, and Coforge.
Consolidators are aviation’s bedbanks, serving as middlemen of flight distribution. Providing bargain prices for resellers, they have been relevant for decades. Most of them, including Picasso, Centrav, GTT Global, and more exist since the 1980s, though the undisputed leader in North America is Mondee Group.
Business travel and expense management
The world of business travel management has been transformed the most since the start of the pandemic. And our selection of players includes different categories of corporate travel providers: there are traditional travel management companies such as Egencia and American Express GBT; productivity software such as Tripgrid; expense management from Navan (previously TripActions); and even innovative blockchain-based marketplace from Winding Tree.
Online travel agencies
OTAs shape the modern travel experience. There are so many online booking sites that they may deserve their own graph. There are classic hotel search OTAs such as Booking.com, Expedia, Trip.com, and Despegar and agencies for alternative accommodations including Airbnb, Vrbo, Vacasa, and HostelWorld. Many popular brands are owned by Booking Holdings and Expedia Group, but smaller, local OTAs like Yatra (India), eDreams (Spain and Europe), and Webjet (Australia and New Zealand) are just as influential in their respective markets.
Tours and attractions products
T&A providers cover a wide range of travel activities, from organizing, consolidating, and selling tours to offering event and museum tickets. Tour providers can use these platforms to reach target audiences while tourists get to easily access excursions from centralized apps. While global travel companies like Airbnb, TripAdvisor, and even Marriott offer some kind of T&A functionality, there are tons of specialized services, including GetYourGuide, WithLocals, Klook, Lyte (formerly, Festicket), and many more.
AI in travel providers
AI and Machine Learning have a massive impact on the travel sector and we’ve explored it extensively on our blog and YouTube channel. And while AI is actively used throughout the ecosystem of providers from Airbnb to Expedia, in the past year, this impact grew even further with the adoption of generative AI like ChatGPT. So, we felt like it deserved a separate section in the landscape.
Here we included software from the most popular categories of AI application: trip planning (Vacay, RoamAround), trip recommendations (Tripnotes, GuideGeek), and hospitality assistance (Duve, Jurny, Yada.ai).
Vacation rental management providers
Before, we’ve included software for short-term rentals among general hospitality management providers, but it’s become clear that the vacation rental market has evolved to become more independent. So, we’ve expanded the list of software for vacation rental management and put them into a specialized section.
Travel agency software
As we’ve had sections dedicated to hotel, vacation rental, and airline management, it’s only fair to include travel agency management providers. These companies offer booking, payment, tour building, analytics, and more capabilities.
Since Covid-19, travelers became more cognizant of the benefits of travel insurance and the market has experienced a bolt. Both travel-specific businesses and general insurance providers with APIs. have been included on the map.
NDC and Flight Connectivity
NDC or New Distribution Capability is a new communication standard developed by IATA that allows airlines to display rich content and ancillaries in OTAs and other travel distributors. One of the ways OTAs can implement NDC functionality is via NDC aggregators, which is why we included many of them in this section.
As you explore the graphic, you will notice that the same company names pop up in different categories, especially when it comes to B2B operations. But at the same time, the travel sector, despite the past crisis years, has welcomed tons of niche startups, aiming to solve particular business or traveler problems. We’ve tried to represent them on the graph as well. It will be interesting to see, how both these company groups evolve over the years. For now, let’s analyze what changed since the 2022 installment of the travel tech landscape.
Emerging trends and predictions
This map allows us to follow the evolution of the travel tech world and here are a few important updates that we’re noticing today.
Generative AI. The advent of large language models like GPT-4 and Google’s Bard is bringing massive opportunities to business efficiency and customer communication. APIs and widgets are available to everyone, so the adoption is not hindered at all. This trend will only keep growing and become more normalized, so we’re bound to see many AI startups appearing in traveltech.
Traditional tours. Popularity of experiential, luxury, culinary, and other trendy types of tourism calls for more personal approaches to travel. People want to experience something not many have tried before, which is where touring companies with local guides and travel assistants are needed once more. It’s likely that traditional travel agency technology will grow to meet the new demand.
Vacation rentals. Alternative accommodations, short-term rentals, and other types of non-hotel lodging are thriving and even traditional hotels are joining in. This is no longer a niche, but a separate sector in the travel world, so every type of software will soon exist to cover specific needs of vacation rentals.
Let us know in the comments what you think the graph is currently lacking and what trends you can pinpoint from it. We’ll keep all suggestions in mind when working on the next iteration.