The Bavel Travel Summit 2023 has closed its ninth edition with an attendance of more than 220 professionals from the travel sector. This international event has been organized by Voxel, a leading company specialized in providing electronic payment and invoicing solutions and it took place at Hotel Melià Sitges.
Voxel CEO, Àngel Garrido, has highlighted the role of technology as an automation tool in the travel industry. According to Garrido, the digitalization of invoices opens the door to automating other processes with the aim of digitalizing the entire value chain.
Women promoting leadership
In this sense, the second day of the congress reflected on the presence of women in the technology sector. Alexandra Limerick, Senior Director Product of WEX, explained that the men to women ratio in the technology sector is 3 men for every woman. With the aim of changing this reality, Limerick explained that “in companies with more than 3 women in leadership positions, better corporate results are achieved”.
On the other hand, Mar Muñoz, Managing Director of Online and Innovation at Avoris, highlighted the role of automation and the use of tools based on Artificial Intelligence in optimizing processes, collecting data and analyzing it in real time. “The personalization of payment options has been one of the most important pillars of our strategy, being able to pro-actively offer the preferred method of payment to each guest provides an added value that helps build customer loyalty”, she concluded.
Ana Arjones, Travel Industries Director at Mastercard, has placed the focus on the importance of automating payments to reduce the number of manual processes and optimize the performance of workers in the sector as much as possible: “hotel receptionists invest between 10% and 13% of their time processing payments”. Likewise, Arjones highlighted that approximately 60% of payments coming from the indirect sales channel require manual intervention by hotels which can result in a high level of rejections when processing certain payments such as virtual cards (up to 23%). Mastercard together with Voxel is working on a solution to automate these payments and their reconciliation.
Regulation and implementation of the mandatory electronic invoice
According to Héctor Martín, vice president of global sales at Voxel, the electronic invoice is experiencing a quick implementation worldwide, even in countries that historically have not had a tax payment culture such as Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates or the United States, and is undoubtedly becoming a global trend.
“The mandatory electronic invoice presents a considerable challenge for us, as it entails a continuous updating of information. Therefore, it is important to have certain processes automated to ensure the efficacy of the operations”, emphasized Martín, who remembers that the European Union has the intention of having this process standardized by the year 2028.
Ultimately, it is important to highlight the prominence gained by Artificial Intelligence (AI) at this congress for its revolutionary role in the travel sector, providing improved and personalized travel and experiences for customers. In this context, companies that use tools based on AI and data processing technology will have the chance of becoming the leaders of the sector and medium segment travel companies will have the opportunity to become more competitive compared to luxury travel companies.
The event was sponsored by WEX, TerraPay, Worldpay from FIS, Mastercard, Outpayce from Amadeus, NIUM, XanderPay and Airplus International, with support from Host, MEWS, Oracle, Prohotel and QuoHotel.