Exclusive – Welcome to the future

If the truth be told, the future may not be as scary as you may think.

Consider, for example, a story that Transat Distribution Canada’s (TDC) general manager, Nathalie Boyer tells about taking her 13-year-old son, Samuel, to her office recently and asking him to put together a report for her on robots and new technologies that she could use for a presentation.

In response to her request, Boyer told Canadian Travel Press: “He said perfect and pushed me out of the office; used my office, my board, my computer and at the end of the day, he said: “Mom, I need to come back tomorrow, I haven’t finished, but it’s going to cost you money.”

The upshot is that Samuel returned the next day, produced a 10-page PowerPoint report in which he concluded that: “Robots and new technologies will never replace a good travel professional. And why?Because they don’t have the emotional intelligence and experience to make the client’s experience unique.”

Said Boyer: “I think it was worth the $20 it cost me,” because Samuel’s report made it crystal clear that travel professionals don’t need to be afraid of innovation.

“We need to use technology to our own benefit to make some value-added for the client because nothing will replace the experience or the knowledge or the way a human being can interact with another one [human being] and make sure the client sees the overall added value of what we are providing them with,” she told CTP.

In the first part of a two-part feature, Canadian Travel Press’ executive editor, Bob Mowat sits down with Transat Distribution Canada’s general manager, Nathalie Boyer and its vice-president marketing and industry relations, Susan Bowman and discovers that the future of retail travel is looking good, real good.

For the full story, don’t miss this week’s Canadian Travel Press .