Reads the title of the Travolution blog post guest written by Mark Seall which I found very thought provoking.
I thought it might be useful to repeat my comments here as well:
If the major travel players are indeed aware of the fast changing environment they are operating in, it isn’t reflected in how their web presence looks like and how they market their product. It all comes along fairly conservatively.
The discussion reminds me of this recent article in The New Yorker magazine by Malcolm Gladwell. The innovators (Davids) of the first phase have in only a few years become the legacy players (Goliaths). It seems the next group of market entrants ready to challenge them are entering the scene under the web 2.0 banner generally describing the social web and the tools it brings along.
With recommendations by friends and relatives having been a major influence factor of travel decisions for decades now, it is only normal that with these new social tools being developed and introduced in the marketplace, this key element will be turbo-charged to a new degree.
The innovators who are capitalizing on this part of the travel process are challenging the established players as they themselves did when entering the scene more than a decade ago automating the first and easier part, the transaction which we all know is not where travel process begins. The game is on. Should be interesting to watch who the new winners will be.
By the way a similar discussion on the topic of legacy OTAs has been held recently on Dennis Schaal’s blog here. Great stuff.