By Mat Orrego, CEO of Cornerstone Information Systems
As we embark on another year in our dynamic industry, it’s exciting to see how Cornerstone and the broader travel industry have adapted and innovated in response to the latest trends and challenges.
Looking ahead to 2024, the travel industry faces a unique blend of challenges and opportunities. With our commitment to driving technological advancement in travel management, Cornerstone views these challenges and uncertainties as catalysts for opportunity.
Stabilization Post-Recovery: The travel industry, having weathered the pandemic storm, is becoming more muscular and prepared to manage the volatility and reality of the recovery in a labor and talent-constrained environment. Buoyed by robust year-over-year growth in travel volumes, companies are more optimistic, resilient, and focused on growth and longer-term strategies.
Cornerstone remains committed to offering customer-focused solutions to support these strategies. Recent industry events, weather and equipment-related, speak to the need for strong risk mitigation strategies for airline service interruptions. Cornerstone’s scalable technology solutions to automate schedule change management and unused ticket reporting have become essential industry tools for any company’s risk mitigation strategies.
Advancements in NDC: NDC remains one of the industry’s most significant trends. Adoption is entering a new phase, from simply focusing on shopping and booking implementations to tackling post-ticketing NDC serviceability. Customers are looking for scalable solutions to manage and automate refunds and exchanges, unused ticket inventory, and schedule change disruptions; pain points Cornerstone excels in solving. The industry-wide collaboration among airlines, GDSs, TMCs, travel sellers, and corporate buyers is focused on solving NDC challenges. Cornerstone continues to offer leadership through our customer-focused technology and service partnerships.
AI in Travel: AI’s role in the travel industry continues to evolve rapidly and become more visible, driven by generative AI’s exponential consumer adoption and applications of AI data models in the enterprise. Automation of routine tasks, data management, agent assistance, machine learning, and the creation of natural language booking agents across diverse platforms exemplify a few of the applications in the travel industry. AI’s growing presence is not just innovative; it’s becoming essential for the enterprise. We’re already seeing a shift from uncertainty and research to exploration and testing, with many pilots already planned and underway.
Work-from-Home Normalization: The trend of remote work, which brings unique challenges to business travel and remote workforce management, is now an accepted norm. This shift represents a significant change in how travel policies are crafted and executed and operations are managed. Cornerstone’s robust duty of care and workflow automation tools continue to evolve and offer best-in-class solutions to travel companies looking for solutions in these areas.
Data Management Innovations: Data is another critical area where our industry is making significant strides. Collecting, cleaning, and normalizing data to inform cohesive, data-driven decision-making remains an industry challenge. But advances in data management, driven by AI, cloud computing, and enhanced data storage technologies, are giving travel companies robust tools to address these challenges.
To keep pace with data management innovation, Cornerstone has established a dedicated team committed to offering our customers the robust data management tools needed to stay competitive in a rapidly moving industry. This includes integrating expertise and technology from our expense reporting integration company, ApexConnect, into Cornerstone’s travel technology platforms to offer enhanced data management solutions to our customers in 2024.
The upcoming year and beyond is bright with potential. Cornerstone has a vision of a more integrated, innovative travel technology future focused on NDC serviceability and the industry’s accelerating demand for data management and artificial intelligence solutions. Our core technology platforms will continue evolving to meet our customers’ needs, combining our scalable enterprise platforms and tools with more robust data management solutions.
Looking ahead, Cornerstone is optimistic about 2024. As the industry embraces these opportunities, we at Cornerstone remain dedicated to being an innovation leader in the travel industry, ensuring that our partners and clients are always one step ahead in this dynamic industry.
I extend my gratitude to our customers and partners, who are integral to this exciting journey. Together, we are not just part of the evolution of travel technology but actively shaping it.
Here’s to a great 2024 – together. Happy travels.