Thursday, November 16, 2006

Travolution@PhoCusWright Hollywood

Madeleine Wood from Spannerworks reports from the PhoCusWright conference in Hollywood, California:

Three days of “two dot ohhh”… So what’s the theory on the future of online travel from the other side of the Atlantic?

Prostitution is not the oldest human profession – travel writing is.

According to Lonely Planet chief executive, Judy Slatyer, we are compelled to share our travel experiences and learnings. Cave paintings show detail of where to get water, meat and shelter.

They even show evidence of rating systems, in the form of palm prints for useful content. Such communication is an inherent part of the human nature and has been for 20,000 years, making it -20,000.0.

Web 2.0 just means we have a fancier array of tools and gadgets through which to share our insights.

One third of those who use MySpace also use, says a survey by Yahoo!-ComScore.

That’s not teenagers; it’s the general public of 35+. Social media isn’t just trendy or about planning for where future customers will be. In the UK and in the US, it’s where travel consumers are now.

According to director of interactive marketing for hotel chain Sheraton, Jeff Mirman, Web 2.0 wasn’t a seismic shift in their online strategy. Second Life, for example, which parent company Starwood used to showcase its new Aloft hotel, was simply about evolving their marketing in line with the new platforms people engage with.
[See Travolution's visit to the Aloft in Second Life]

So, Web 1.0 was about price led aggregation of content, Web 1.5 was Meta Search and Web 2.0 is about aggregation of content with product and relevancy. Users have moved beyond online travel as being about cost saving.

Web 2.0 is about fulfilling the function of the travel agent – inspiration, personalisation and trust.

The commercial benefit to social media is generating online loyalty, engagement and an emotional connection to inspire the purchase.

TripAdvisor, Travelocity and Starwood all say they generate significantly higher conversions to purchase following exposure to social media content.

So that's the business case we've all been looking for...

Madeleine Wood, business development manager at Spannerworks


Anonymous said...

it seems to me that while some parts of the industry are clammering over themselves to become part of the travel 2.0 world, the rest of us are in danger in getting left behind. just an observation.

Anonymous said...

good site