Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Eye For Travel Summit: Screen (scraping) tests

Interesting observations about screen scraping in the Q&A at the end of the direct vs indirect debate.

Jerry Dunn, distribution development manager for easyJet, admitted that screen scraping is “not insignificant and it's growing”(surely not TMCs?). He suggested that EZY's availability through GDSs and its own API provide an alternative, at a cost. He also said EZY is talking to “other distribution companies” to increase the choice for third parties.

Sinead Finn, head of sales and marketing for Ryanair, said that screen scraping isn’t a big part of its business. It hasn’t stopped them from trying to deny screen scrapers access, however.

Andrew Rubinacci, VP distribution marketing from IHG, admitted that hotels too are part of the screen scrapers’ reach. IHG is trying to turn them off, but does not charge third parties for authorised access in the same way as easyJet does.

Martin Cowen, chief writer, Travolution


Al James said...

Is it me, or is paid for GDS a out-of-date concept? Its like Google asking me to pay to use their web search. Servers are cheap these days. I suspect that the future lies in free distribution systems that work on a cost per action basis.

Travolution Blogger said...

The smart money is on the GDSs being around for some time to come, while the smart GDSs have realised that they need to offer more distribution options than their traditional seat fulfilment role.

The GDs new entrants have faded into the background, but they and other technology businesses are offering a range of alternative distribution platforms that didn’t exist for suppliers less than a decade ago.

As for free distribution, maybe innovative revenue-sharing deals are more likely, if they don’t exist already.