Google Cloud has signed strategic collaborations with major travel organisations in Thailand to offer its customers a digital-first experience.
Airports of Thailand Public Company Limited (AOT), SKY ICT Public Company Limited (SKY), and EVME PLUS Company Limited (EVme), will adopt Google Cloud’s open data cloud and analytics technologies in hopes of driving the country’s travel recovery in the post-pandemic world.
According to Google search volumes, inbound air travel demand from tourists to Thailand saw a year-on-year increase of 386% in October 2022. This resurgence has continued through to the month of March 2023, which has seen a more than 161% year-on-year increase in demand.
Demand for outbound air travel experienced a similar surge: there was a year-on-year increase of 544% in October 2022. By March 2023, demand saw a more than 187% year-on-year increase.
To cope with the spike in passenger traffic in and out of the country’s six airports, AOT and its partner SKY – an aviation technology solutions provider – will migrate to Google’s ‘scalable and secure’ cloud infrastructure.
The migration aims to enable AOT’s IT systems across its ground aviation services and a mobile application for travellers – SAWASDEE by AOT – to handle up to 10 times their normal workloads while offering a smooth user experience. This may help AOT save on costs, including additional computing resources.
What’s more, AOT and SKY are working to break down internal data silos with Google Cloud’s database management services, in order to enhance their ability to push real-time airport and flight information to millions of passengers. This may enable passengers an overall smoother experience from check-in and immigration to boarding and baggage collection.
Furthermore, SKY will tap on the Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) to transform SAWASDEE by AOT into an ‘all-in-one’ travel app that offers a full range of tourism-related services. With GKE, they’re working to automate application deployment and upgrades without causing downtime.
Therefore, SKY’s technology teams aim to avoid engaging in time-consuming manual backend IT configurations and accelerate the launch of various new in-app features on a regular basis, such as baggage tracker service and e-payments at the airports.
“As our industry recuperates from the effects of the past few years, it’s critical that we find the ability to both optimise costs and ramp up our operations,” said Kittipoj Venunantana, senior EVP of digital and communications technology at AOT.
“Our choice of SKY as our longstanding partner and Google Cloud as our new primary cloud provider gives us the right combination of automated solutions and deep innovation expertise to deliver high-quality and safe digital-first passenger experiences at scale.
“Google Cloud’s open data cloud will provide a strong yet flexible foundation for AOT to fulfil our vision of operating the world’s smartest airports and serve as the gateway for tourists to discover and enjoy all that Thailand has to offer.”
In addition, Google Cloud also hopes to support the service recovery of other tourism-related industries such as travel insurance, retail and sectors that offer sustainable products or services.
“When we consider tourism’s economic impact, there’s often a focus on the contribution from core areas like aviation and accommodation – and rightfully so,” said April Srivikorn, country manager of Thailand at Google Cloud. “But our analysis also highlights tourism’s impact on other sectors, from financial services to healthcare, to retail and transportation.
“We’re committed to empowering organisations across industries with intelligent, data-driven capabilities to make smarter business decisions and be part of an integrated ecosystem that delivers world-class visitor experiences.
“Our collaborations with AOT, SKY, and EVme will enhance their ability to serve travellers with personalised, digital-first offerings powered by our secure and scalable open data cloud. This also builds on our work with Siam Commercial Bank and Central Retail to support hotel, restaurant, and catering businesses, and a large local private healthcare firm to boost medical tourism.”