studies like this one claiming that Online travel research continues to outpace booking.
I’m not knocking the Conference Board which has a pretty good research track record but it’s not really surprising news that online travel growth rates are slowing. It’s an obvious sign of a maturing industry. What is more significant to me is that there seems to be a stagnating level of innovation in online travel that has an effect on how travelers evaluate the overall experience.
Most OTA sites are offering a very similar user interface and pretty much standardized set of features. Of course, there are new alternatives to the major sites appearing on the scene but most of them don’t have the recognition by the public at large and don’t show up high on any rankings so far.
The result is that the general traveling public is basing the evaluation of their experience on what is offered to them by the market leaders, OTAs or major suppliers. These travel services providers are challenged to innovate or acquire some of the new players that are starting to offer an improved user experience. As I’ve claimed previously, it comes down to a truly amazing one-stop experience with a seamless integration of all phases of DREAM – LEARN – PLAN – GO to get the industry to the next level.
Where is the iPhone of travel – A truly innovative approach to easily research, plan and book a vacation on a fully integrated, real-time basis?