The world is inexorably moving away from broadcast television. In days of old, viewers across the country would sit down together in their tens of millions to watch the most popular TV programmes of the time.
Did you read the latest Ashley Madison byline? Before the data breach it was “Life is short. Have an affair.” I think it now reads, “Life is going to be shorter when your partner finds out!” Ashley Madison has highlighted just how easily data can be hacked.
You know you are doing a good job when other players in your marketplace start attacking you. So, for example, the Daily Telegraph headline last month, “Courtney Love attacked by anti-Uber protesters in Paris. Singer and former wife of Kurt Cobain claims she would be "safer in Baghdad" after her car is attacked by angry cabbies in Paris.”
Over the next few weeks, I will be organising Travel Technology Initiative’s Autumn conference. The title of the event is Digital Transformation. This has got me thinking about what does Digital Transformation really mean and are there any travel industry players undergoing a digital transformation?
This week I chaired a Forum I organised for Travel Technology Initiative and the European Tourism Association. I called the event The Hotel Distribution Revolution. The online era has created a whole new world for the travel industry, but whereas the airline sector, cruising and tour operating may be settling down and finding some stability, it strikes me that hotel distribution is still in a state of flux.
British Airways - receive information about your flight’s gate status, with notifications sent direct to your wrist when your gate status changes (available at London Heathrow Terminals 3 and 5 only). Marriott - access Marriott’s mobile app for check-in and checkout. Expedia - Check itineraries for upcoming trips.
A study recently completed by the University of Derby concludes that some people have become addicted to their smartphones, ie. they have become physically and mentally dependent on their devices. The study found a positive relationship between this addiction and narcissism.
Who remembers the old days, when air travel was fun and exciting, when you didn’t need to buy a Business or First Class ticket to make the trip bearable? Sadly, travelling by air has become a chore; a grit-your-teeth and put-up-with-the-endless-queuing experience.
Expedia has just purchased Travelocity from Sabre for $280 million in cash. This comes after Sabre’s recent sale of lastminute.com to Bravofly Rumbo for $120 million. Following the Travelocity deal, Sabre CEO and president, Tom Klein, said, “Our primary focus at Sabre is to provide mission-critical software solutions to our global airline, hospitality, and travel agency customers – and to help them support their customers every day.”
The major online travel agencies, Expedia and Priceline’s Booking.com, seem to have the travel market sewn up, sucking in customers like celestial black holes. Their large market shares are driven by mega-million dollar digital marketing budgets and superlative technology.