We need to learn travellers’ inspiration, not just their booking data – Skyscanner

Data expert outlines how search could change the way the industry looks at data

Traditional data is not sufficient in network planning, with travellers’ “inspiration” the real key to understanding demand, a Skyscanner expert has said.

Faical Allou, business development manager, Skyscanner Analytics, said the current data points are “insufficient”, with search habits able to create a much more accurate picture.

"We need to find out the inspiration for travellers,” he said. “When people start chatting on Facebook, we need to know that in advance; who wants to go to the destination and how much would they be willing to pay to get there? That's coming, natural language processing will enable it."

The industry needs to “break the chicken and egg problem” of using historical booking data, said Faical.

“If there is no flight, nobody flies it, but that doesn't mean they don't want to. We need to use search tracking to find out what the real demand is."

"Typically people are interested in travelling, but if they can't find a good offer they will give up. So the demand is greater than what we can see."

Faical also noted that the current bookings system used is “from the last century”.

“Compare that to what Amazon is doing - they are shipping items before people even buy them," he said.