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CON-X interview: Ricardo Fernández, Managing Director at Destinia

In today’s interview, Ricardo Fernández gives us his version of how a company can stand out in such a competitive market

How did you become part of the Destinia Group team and what would be your main role at the moment?

I started at Destinia about 4 years ago, but after the company acquired the former Spanish bed bank Transhotel, I had to start my work practically from scratch. Currently, my main focus is growth, so I work on new acquisitions, enter new markets, manage new business units and promote new business opportunities.

Every day we find more competitors in the market and large companies are growing exponentially. Is there a limit? How can an OTA be distinguished from the crowd?

The travel industry is constantly growing and there is a large concentration of competitors around the world. However, the experience also shows that as in all markets we have other ” local heroes ” apart from Booking.com or Expedia. I suppose that travel sites can offer great value in the distribution channel. It is a matter of controlling your growth, being independent and adding real value.

How is the consumer experience different in your company?

We try to offer an incredible user experience based on 3 pillars: it must be easy to search, easy to choose and easy to pay. Payment methods are the cornerstone of the UX for our companies.

What is your relationship with meta searchers and how do you think this will evolve?

Metasearch engines are an opportunity for many when it comes to working in some markets and in some circumstances. It all depends on your strategy but surely they provide good added value to the OTAs. The market is constantly changing, so I guess we will continue to see big changes in the short term.

How are you using AI to add value to your customers?

The AI helps us choose which suppliers, destinations and offers we should show our customers, something particularly important for our conversion rate and profitability. Being able to make better decisions with the data we already have is a great opportunity for the travel industry.

How crucial are technology and creativity to your business?

We are a technology company, which means that we do not have assets, basically, we are pure code. Connectivity is crucial for us since we need to access the best inventory in the world to be competitive and maximize our profits.

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