Meet Tom Kershaw, Chief Product & Technology Officer at Travel Technology Company: Travelport

Travelport is a global travel technology company that powers bookings for hundreds of thousands of travel suppliers worldwide.

Buyers and sellers of travel are connected through our online marketplace, Travelport+, which simplifies how brands connect, upgrades how travel is sold, and enables modern digital travel retail. Our platform provides easy ways for businesses such as airlines, hotels, and car rental companies to connect through personalised content to agencies and travellers.

Chances are, if you’ve used a price comparison site to book your flights, holiday, rental car or hotel – our technology has powered those sites to make the process as simple for you as we can.


What do you think makes Travelport unique?

We want to make booking trips easier, that is what our technology is built to do. Travelport is currently focused heavily on simplifying the complex travel booking process. My product and technology team commits to finding new, more efficient solutions to managing the complex processes rather than simply adding features that don’t completely address existing problems. We focus our resources on connecting buyers and sellers of travel through a single, independent marketplace that ultimately makes it easier for corporate travellers and consumers to access the travel options and offers they want and are most relevant to their needs.

By focusing on this one major challenge and making retailing experiences better, we’re avoiding distractions that come from trying to do a lot of different things at once. We’re utilising the right technology tools to make improvements that are needed in travel retailing, and we’re accelerating how we deliver these new and enhanced solutions for our customers.

We’re 100% committed to the agency community, and not distracted by airline hosting. We’ve already delivered tools agents need to be modern retailers, like NDC and ATPCO content side-by-side, a suite of tools to boost revenue and automate an agent’s workflow, and tools like Trip Quote and Assisted Ticketing, delivering world class customer experiences.


How has the company evolved over the last couple of years?

Travelport has evolved from a traditional travel distributor to a data-driven, customer-first retailer and we are extremely excited about the future of travel. The new travel experience will be fast, automated and personalised, and we have made great stride in this direction with Travelport+, our next-generation platform. We have worked hard to incorporate all shapes of supply – from traditional air to NDC and everything in between – in a simple, easy to consume experience for agents and travellers. Our goal is to perform tasks that used to take minutes (or more) in just seconds, and we are well on our way to that goal.

Additionally, we continue to renew strategic relationships with industry leaders and innovators, supporting the latest travel retailing initiatives for everyone from American Express Global Business Travel to Hopper to American Airlines. Our partnerships have enabled us to build strong relationships across the industry and have helped us evolve into the company we are today.

Additionally, in Q3 2022, Travelport became the first and only GDS to join the GBTA Sustainability Program as a founding member. We also joined the industry association Travalyst, a non-profit focused on sustainable travel reporting standards. From a technology and product standpoint, we believe it is important to align with industry partners to standardise how we, as an industry:

  • inform customers and travellers about the most sustainable options at every step of their journey
  • integrate content so that the most eco-friendly options are easily accessible, recognisable and will influence purchase behaviour toward the most sustainable options available
  • neutralise and improve the impacts travel has on the environment and go beyond offsetting carbon footprints to enforce more environmentally sustainable options for every part of a journey

My team is currently developing a strategic product roadmap to address how our technology can help to ease these challenges and recently, Travelport established a new sustainability office within our strategy team which will focus all our efforts on prioritising sustainability within future product development and product roadmaps.

What can we hope to see from Travelport in the future?

Now, we’re continuing to work on the product to allow for greater self-service and automation – as well as addressing these key challenges with searching, shopping, and reporting on sustainable travel, and we are supporting corporate travel as this sector will drive sustainable travel.

Ultimately, we want to simplify the whole travel retailing experience, for businesses and consumer travellers. As we continue to roll out new Travelport+ capabilities and enhanced tools, we’ll also be rolling out more capabilities focused on supporting travel managers and their ability to book and report on sustainable travel since we have a unique position as a GDS to support this need, being that central connection between buyers and sellers of travel.