Thursday, July 27, 2006

Guess who?

So what was it like, back in the heady days of the mid-1990s, when the modernisers were attempting to persuade the rest of the industry that this internet malarkey was here to stay?

Well, if one pretty senior figure is to be believed, it was rather a frustrating experience…

In 1997 a booking engine supplier was doing the rounds of the industry and managed to secure a meeting with the boss of a leading low-cost carrier – which will, unfortunately, have to remain nameless.

These were the days when full-on evangelising was the tried and trusted method in trying to woo traditional suppliers to the rewards of allowing consumers to book directly on the internet.

The boss in question listened carefully, before – in the words of our source – dismissed the idea with a suite of expletives that could be paraphrased roughly into: “You’ve got to be bloody joking! You’re wasting your time!”

Incredibly this was just less than a year before the “epiphany” that hit the majority of the travel industry and a string of travel companies – including the aforementioned LCC – embraced the internet and evangelised themselves about its benefits as a business and for consumers.

Well fancy that…

Kevin May, editor, Travolution

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