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.
you want to provide to the customer the customer would like to receive. Examining these ‘moments of truth’ will identify gaps between the experience the customer desires and the one actually received. It is these moments of truth that give the customer an opportunity to form (or change) his/her impression about your business.
After 10 years plus, I am putting my hobby website, travelfromHere.com, up for sale. Take a look and you will see that it is a very straightforward directory of websites aimed at UK travellers. It is rather like Yahoo! was in its first incarnation.
Some news in the last few days has reminded me of one of the subjects I was addressing at my World Travel Market seminar back in 2010. The news is that Thomas Cook has signed up with online reputation management company TrustYou which will use its online reputation management tool to monitor all online reviews written worldwide.
I make no apologies for getting back to the subject of mobile. It is simply the most important issue that is affecting travel right now. It is vital to get your strategy right and properly address this channel unless, of course, you are not bothered and are happy to watch the new entrants continue to flood in and steal market share. Two events in the last seven days have catalysed my thinking.