Travelport rebrands to align with company's 'monumental culture shift'


As Travelport prepares to launch its next generation platform -- which will do away with its trifurcated back-end cores of Worldspan, Galileo and Apollo in favor of one system that provides multi-source content capabilities -- the company is unveiling a new visual identity that CEO Greg Webb says reflects the transformation that has taken place at the company since he became CEO in August 2019.

"We've had a monumental culture shift of the thinking and the mentality of both our employees and the way that our partners and customers think about us. We've gotten ridiculously laser-focused on the fact that we know what we do well, which is when we provide a content aggregation source and a retail marketplace in the travel and tourism space, and so we are focused on being the best at that," Webb says.

"We are acting differently, we are talking differently and internally we are different than we were before, and so we need to look different."

The rebrand -- with a new logo, new colors and a tag line of "change is for the brave" -- comes ahead of the launch of the new platform, which some Travelport clients currently are migrating to ahead of a broader rollout in the coming weeks.

"It's not as if ... we flip a switch and there's something brand-new. It will be a value delivered over the next couple of years that people will be able to tangibly see this works differently, this is better," Webb says. 

Along with the new platform, Webb says the company is focusing on staying "true to our core" to simplify processes and to help "suppliers and sellers maximize value on every transaction."

To that end, the company has streamlined its activities, for example selling corporate booking platform Locomote back to its founders last summer, settling the sale of eNett and Optal to WEX in December and de-prioritizing work on things such as blockchain.

"There were tech things we were spending money on that, while they might have had marginal benefit in the future, weren't game-changers and they weren't going to change the way the industry looked at us," he says.

"We need to stay true to our core. Unlike some of our competitors and others we don't spend our time on a bunch of airline products. I'm not trying to sell revenue management to an airline somewhere. That's not what we do and we're not going to do that."

What is a priority, he says, is to make Travelport even faster at creating solutions to help customers.

"Speed kills. If you are faster to yes, if you are faster to market, if you are faster to find new innovative things that change the marketplace, if you're faster to finding innovative ways to deliver better capabilities, you are going to win," Webb says.

"So I think we have gotten significantly faster at Travelport in the last two years ... but I'd like us to go faster."

Webb reiterates that he does not like the term "global distribution system," saying it "refers to a legacy environment that was created 20 years ago... [and] pigeonholes you into thinking about the history of the industry as opposed to the future of the industry."

Instead Webb prefers the term "multi-source content aggregator," acknowledging that it also expands the definition of who Travelport is in competition with, beyond GDSs such as Amadeus and Sabre to "anybody that is trying to step into the multi-source content aggregation space." 

Following Covid-induced layoffs and a $500 million financing package announced in June, Webb says Travelport is definitely going to get "bigger" in the future, possibly through merger and acquisition deals.

"I think we will certainly be accretively acquisitive if we find opportunities that make us better as a company. We are not going to grab a bunch of things that don't fit our core mission," he says.

"Our sponsors have been terribly supportive of the company during this time period and certainly would be supportive of us as we look at potential acquisitions."

Source: PhocusWire


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