Quick summary & analysis about D Day Travel (Finland)


Travel industry rebooted Finland today at the D Day seminar. 200 top decision makers from the different tourism and travel companies were present. We heard an inspiring and promising opening speech by the Minister of Transport and Communication, Anne Berner. She said, that the government needs to be the enabler for new innovation and growth for our industry.

After this we heard many other inspiring speeches. Among them was Nick Hall, who spoke about how travellers want to manage their trips with their mobile phones. Hjalti Baldursson from Iceland described how they have helped the tourism to boost on their island. The key is, that everything is online and all the companies are cooperating really closely together. The same theme continued with Pekka Möttö's (Kyyti) speech. They are about to launch a new service in the US market. Again, their key message was cooperation. Ashwin Rajan continued with the same topics and points.

All these speakers talked about the exactly same topics we are talking about: Cooperation and customer experience Management. Guests want to manage their trips with their own devices and to be served in superior way. But no entity is able to do it alone (or in the way they have always done). There is room and need for new thinking.

The following speeches by the sponsors (Nokia, CGI and VTT - and to some extent also Finnavia) talked about the bigger picture. They discussed about things like ecosystems and analysing big data, and how to apply that in the travel business.

Practically the whole morning was clearing the path for the pitching session and what we presented in quick 3 minutes. We came public with our newest service: Hotelfy. That is a hotel mobile app, which guests download only once and then they can manage all hotels, instead of just one. Hotelfy is an ecosystem, it is something the guests manage with their smart phone and above all, it connects many hotels and other (travel) service providers in a cooperative way. So we ticked a lot of boxes that were discussed earlier today.

The other interesting pitches were for example Wowanders, who create automatic travel diaries and by them the travellers can recommend various things to their friends in a handy way. Nordic Nature invited us all to their Startup Camp in the forest next August to innovate how to use nature in a better way. And Hansel gave us something to think about how we can be more efficient by planning (and managing) our business trips. After all, 200 of us were on one today.

Between different speeches we had time to mingle, network and to be on pre-scheduled speed dates. We found them very useful.

For us, the most valuable part of the day, was the workshop sessions. I attended in the one organized by Hansel. We discussed about the topics of improving the business trips and how to manage them. About dozen people agreed, that there is need for one (or very few) common platforms, that unite the different players (like hotels) under one app/ecosystem. And Miia Antila (Nordic Choice) said, that even the big chains are willing to concentrate less on their own applications and can take part in some other initiatives, if the independent operators are offering something that improve the travel industry holistically. I found that very encouraging for our efforts to build Hotelfy ecosystem.

There were also quite many other great ideas. And Hansel was very open to the different solutions.

We all agreed, that days like today are definitely needed also in the future. Nothing changes unless you are ready to invest time and effort in it. Technology is there, now we just have to cooperate together and make things happen.

If you wish to know more about the D Day, you can search for example #ddayfi and #rebootFinland on Twitter.

By Hannu Vahokoski