COVID Has Made Online Travel A Game Of Millimetres, And He Who Solves Testing Wins Big

COVID has turned online travel from a game of inches to one of millimetres, said Timothy Hughes, vice president corporate development of Agoda, paraphrasing an oft-quoted phrase of former Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.

Speaking during WiT Seoul, Hughes said, “A lot of the breakout tech is just your ability to execute quickly. It’s not sexy. It’s not being techie. It’s what have you got internally that allows you to change your rates fast, and how fast you can launch products to quickly chase whatever demand there is because this is a game now of millimetres of being able to execute today to capture the demand tomorrow.”

Hughes was answering a question on what kind of breakout tech COVID had spurred during a panel discussion.

For Expedia Group’s Ang Choo Pin, senior director, government and corporate affairs, and managing director, Asia, the most exciting tech is “the one which will potentially be the enabler for governments to have trust in restarting travel, and that is a great testing technology that is affordable and accessible, and that will allow people to essentially present a health passport to say that well, “I’ve been medically tested. I haven’t travelled in the past 14 days”.

“I think anyone who’s able to crack that will be able to really reinvigorate travel and potentially make a lot of money in the process.”

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