Travel TechnologyCEO Sean Menke unveils plans to expand into attraction and event tickets and ground transportation that make up a US$5 trillion market.

Sabre aims to become a personalised travel marketplace by 2025

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STX Sean Menke 190626
Sabre CEO Sean Menke speaking on June 24 at STX 2019 in Las Vegas.

Menke, speaking at STX 2019, the company’s annual technology conference held in Las Vegas this week, said the company is continuing on its extensive multi-year technology transformation that started nearly two years ago.

Sabre is making steps towards its “audacious goal” of becoming a personalised travel marketplace by 2025, its CEO Sean Menke said on Monday.

Menke, speaking at STX 2019, the company’s annual technology conference held in Las Vegas this week, said the company is continuing on its extensive multi-year technology transformation that started nearly two years ago.

Its aim is to become “a new marketplace for personalised tourism experiences that will dwarf the number of dollars that you transact today”, he said.

“The future through our collective efforts goes beyond selling and servicing airline tickets and hotel rooms. The ability to add preferences, access more content and enhance shopping will deliver more seamless and comprehensive offers,” said Menke.

This means expanding the current scope that Sabre transacts to incorporate other aspects of an individual’s journey, tapping into a US$5 trillion market around induced travel spend.

Areas such as museum tickets, amusement parks, sporting events, concerts, restaurants, and ground transportation, among many others, are included.

He drew comparisons to e-commerce retailer Amazon and culinary subscription service Blue Apron as examples of a third-wave of commerce, characterising this wave of businesses by their ability to make real-time, data-driven personalised offers to shoppers.

Realising this vision will mean bringing other components of a travel journey beyond the core air and hotel segments. Currently, the estimated global annual spend across both segments is US$1.20 trillion, but it is a market that is fast expanding.

Sabre transacts US$260 billion in travel bookings across airline, hotel, agencies and corporations annually.

In the past three years, the volume of GDS air traffic has been outpaced by shopping nearly 10 times.

Over 750 million daily shopping requests are made on Sabre’s platforms, with the growth being driven by branded fares, the desire to build attribute-based to more effectively compete in the marketplace, and to meet travellers’ needs at different price points.

“The travel marketplace has changed dramatically. It looks nothing like it did a half century ago when Sabre was first starting, and continues to evolve with better data-drive offers that are perfectly tailored for consumers,” said Menke.


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