Published Tuesday, April 30, 2019 2:00 pm by Mary Ann Passi, CAE

At the recent ACTE Global Summit, there was much discussion about how APIs (Application Programming Interface) are disrupting the travel space. APIs make it possible to move information between programs, allowing applications to communicate with one another.

At the conference, corporate travel executives and buyers heard that while disruptive, an API is the new way to connect suppliers. Even traditional forms of GDS are extended thru APIs, so you need to be aware of how this impacts the industry. Their goal? Connecting the dots using API via an intermediary system for seamless travel management.

As housing is part of that travel experience, with corporate travel executives hearing this, you need to know their perspective.

In the beginning stages of widespread use in travel management, API is still chaotic. This technology brings together an ecosystem that’s only been theoretically ‘connected’ up to this point. There is no comprehensive supplier connectivity across the traveler chain. All suppliers are trying to ramp up how connected they need to be, using various generations of API. And API is getting more sophisticated. Platforms are just starting to be connected and applied now. This is an opportunity to get more diverse and richer content. There are great capabilities in this content, however, you need to be selective in taking advantage of these opportunities.

One panelist stated that the future of all SAS companies is looking to transform from one to an all-platform capability. Not all APIs are created equal - connecting to one is just the beginning of the process.

Tech experts on an ACTE panel stressed keeping focused on the bigger picture - what does the traveler ultimately get out of this? Richer selection of content and more functionality around the content to enhance the shopping, and therefore, traveling experience. They cautioned that the potential benefit to the traveler needs to be curated by the corporate travel executive. Has to be mediated by the intermediaries you’ve chosen to work on your behalf – and that may include accommodation providers.

A live poll reported the following benefits as part of suppliers’ being interconnected:

  • 35%  - Better data
  • 38%  - Seamless traveler experience
  • 13% - Reduced costs
  • 13% - Improved duty of care

When it comes to APIs, experts recommended asking these key questions

  1. What is the problem you’re trying to solve?
  2. What are you trying to deliver?
  3. How are those benefits getting out there?

We created CHPA Analytics with the vision of seamlessly collecting clean, reliable industry data, and doing so via API is one solution. Our partner, Datlytics, is contacting several dozen member companies wanting to connect to CHPA Analytics via API to onboard them as soon as possible. With more than 70 member companies wanting to participate in CHPA Analytics, this will take a bit of time. With your clients wanting this data – and as transparently as possible – this CHPA initiative will help you successfully meet this client need.