Is this the Year when major new developments are going to occur in the online travel space?
The previous posts included a basic thought paper on how I view the position of destination marketing organizations in the online travel space and how they best address the challenges of new hybrid consumer planning & purchasing behavior.
The Financial Times ran an article that described the overall market situation very well. It prompted me to write a letter to the Editor, which was actually published by the FT!
We can safely say that 2004 was the year of mega deals in the online travel space.
Seems like the major players are lining up their arsenal for the fight to dominate the next phase of online travel – Travel 2.0. It was also the year that saw a lot of buzz about travel meta search by the likes of Kayak, Mobissimo, SideStep, and FareChase. The jury is still out about the deep impact these players may or may not have on the market, but in the near term they will certainly make “rock bottom price fishing” much easier. With the vast majority of online travel transactions still being airline tickets from A to B and hotels, but even that category a distant second, there certainly is a market for this type of service.
2004 was also the year when dynamic packaging became the buzz word covered for the first time in The Wall Street Journal and other main stream media. While most experts seem to agree that the sale of travel packages will record the fastest future growth this is predicted to happen despite what many still consider a rather poor overall online travel shopping experience for packages. Let’s just imagine how fast the package business will grow once the next generation of innovative travel technology is being deployed, allowing true customer self-directed dynamic packaging.