Once again, I have organised a couple of the technology/digital travel events at World Travel Market this year. I have been doing this for quite a few years. I am one of these people who are quite pedantic about keeping all my electronic files, so I was looking back to see what I had to say in some of my early presentations.
It was shocking to read about the recent demise of LowCost Travel Group last month. Just take a look at the Administrator’s message on the Group’s website. Under the heading, “Accommodation,” you can read, “In most cases, accommodation in resort has regrettably not been paid and your booking is not secured.”
At the beginning of the month I ran the first of my Genesys Happiest Minds Executive Series seminars in partnership with Happiest Minds. The idea is that we will hold regular seminars exploring the most topical and pressing digital transformation issues that are concerning us in today’s travel industry.
Last week I was moderating Travel Technology Initiative’s Summer Forum that I organised. The subject was Revenue Management. I called the Forum ‘Money for Nothing.’ My thinking was that this is a good title for a revenue management event as the discipline is about conjuring more revenue/profit from an existing, finite inventory.
Do you remember the story from 2009 of the flying Dutchman? He was looking forward to visiting his family in Wollongong and Tallong, just South of Sydney. Accompanied by his 15 year old grandson, they departed Amsterdam and after a change of planes at Halifax, finally touched down in Sydney. I guess they might have been surprised at how short the journey was as they had arrived in Sydney, Nova Scotia, not Australia. They had booked flights to the wrong place.
I founded Genesys over 21 years ago. Back then, the Internet and the digital world that we know today were simply unheard of. It was 1994. By then there were just around 2750 websites but the web had yet to be adopted commercially. (Today there are over 1 billion sites.)
TripAdvisor is the largest travel site on Earth. Its statistics are staggering. In Q3 2015, it reported reaching 350 million unique monthly visitors. It has more than 290 million reviews and opinions, covering more than 5.3 million accommodations, restaurants, and attractions.
At this time of year, it is always fun to try and predict what significant happenings are going to take place in the coming twelve months. Thankfully, no one bothers to check back at the end of the year to see how wrong one was! One thing I have been saying for a while is that the new norm is to expect the un-normal and this is not going to change for 2016.