As an island nation, travel – and travel technology in all its forms – has always been of vital importance to Ireland. Being an island on Europe’s western periphery ensured Ireland played a central role in the history of aviation. Iconic aviators from Alcock and Brown to Charles Lindbergh made a beeline for these shores.
This aviation heritage helped inspire further successes, from creating the modern duty free shopping concept to developing aircraft leasing as a standalone business. Today, well over 50 per cent of the world’s leased commercial airlines are managed from Ireland.
In recent years, Ireland has become a global travel technology hub. In 2018, there were more than 100 travel technology companies registered here, employing over 3,500 people. Our travel heritage has enabled companies we produce to clearly understand the challenges experienced by travel companies, while our tech expertise enables them to develop innovative solutions.
Meet Ireland’s travel tech innovators
Travel technology now covers all aspects of journey planning, from reservations made on a booking site, flights, car rental, accommodation and activities, to behind the scenes technologies, such as payment, compliance and distribution systems.
In recent years, our travel strengths have given rise to world-beating innovators, such as Hostelworld, the world’s leading hostel-focused online booking platform.
It has helped spawn CarTrawler too, the world’s leading B2B travel technology platform providing transport solutions to almost one billion passengers annually, and Roomex, a leading hotel booking platform for business travel.
The fact that artificial intelligence is increasingly driving the travel industry plays to Ireland’s strengths, giving rise to a new crop of high flyers.
These include companies such as Boxever, developer of a personalisation platform that uses data and AI to make customer interactions smarter. It works with airlines around the world, including Ryanair, Viva Air Group, and Hong Kong Express.
Specialist room revenue agency Revanista provides AI-supported yield optimisation and channel management to hoteliers.
Planitas provides leading airlines with total flight revenue optimisation software, while Arvoia’s AI technology is used by travel companies to deliver a personalised booking experience to customers.
Datalex is a leading provider of e-commerce and retail software solutions to major airlines such as Delta, JetBlue and Virgin Atlantic, while Aerospace Software Developments (ASD) develops applications based on RFID identity chip technology for the aviation and aerospace sectors.
From engineering and technology right through to innovative tour operators such as Topflight, travel is something that Irish companies are really good at.
Global reach of Irish travel tech companies
The fact that major travel tech companies such as Airbnb, Google, Lonely Planet and Trip Advisor all have their European hubs, and in many cases EMEA HQs, in Ireland also feeds into our unique travel tech ecosystem.
Irish travel tech companies have global reach too. CarTrawler is working with Alaska Airlines, Datalex with Air China, and Likewhere, which provides travellers with a personalised content experience, is working with the Hilton Hotels group.
Flightman, whose software syncs data exchange between aircraft and airline ground systems, is working with Delta Air Lines. Coras is revolutionising the way event tickets are sold online.
Campsite booking specialist Campsited has secured funding from the US, a clear sign that major US venture players are interested in Irish capability.
Enterprise Ireland is helping to connect international market leaders with the advanced technologies of Irish companies, which are enhancing customer experience and driving profitability across the industry.
For travel tech, Ireland has become the premier destination.