Monday, June 12, 2006

Travolution@ITT - Part 1 - Times they are a-changing

This week’s ITT conference in Oman begins tomorrow morning (Tuesday 12 June) but the 400-odd delegates have descended en masse over the weekend on the brand new Shangri-La complex, which sits a few miles east along the coast from the capital Muscat.

Alongside the obvious comments about the heat (around 40 degrees at Seeb International Airport yesterday evening), delegates are in an upbeat yet contemplative mood.

“The industry is on the verge of massive change – again,” one senior figure said on the flight last night.

The early adopters in the online world have set the pace, but now the others – especially the traditional tour operators – are catching up fast, he said.

It appears, talking to delegates, that the travel industry is about to experience its own Version 2.0.

If the gradual switch over the last ten years was the warm-up act, then the next few years will be the main show.

To some here it feels like the wait-and-see approach has now ended. It is time for the Big Boys to really enter the fray – and, in turn, turn up the heat on the rest of the industry.

“They have the power and influence gathered over the decades to have a massive impact,” the delegate said.

[Check back here for regular updates from Oman]

Kevin May, editor, Travolution

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