Center Stage at the PhoCusWright Conference in Los Angeles brought speakers ranging from the CEOs of China’s two largest online travel agencies to Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO at Expedia, from metasearch leaders at Kayak, Skyscanner, TripAdvisor and Travelzoo to the head of IPB’s Watson Group and Darren Huston, CEO of The Priceline Group and Booking.com. It was an amazing collection of the top leaders in the online travel field.
The theme of the conference was Disruption’s Curve. With these major online players speaking, there was a lot of business as usual rather than disruption; however, every speaker managed to take a look at disruptive factors that they have been facing.
The disruption of Big Data dominated the first day of the conference when innovators presented a series of new emerging companies and divisions of established companies focused on harvesting Big Data from Website actions of travelers. Even in the major established mega company category, IBM, presenting on the final day of the conference, highlighted the activities of its disruptive Watson Group.
Watson, for those who don’t remember, is the computer that challenged and defeated America’s top Jeopardy players on the TV gameshow. That TV-gameshow publicity thrust the power of IBM’s computing to the