Wednesday, December 27, 2006

People really do get online travel

Bumping into the odd relative or two over the Christmas is always a useful benchmark to evaluate how much people know about a particular industry and its carious issues.

So Travolution has spent the last few days mingling with those odd relatives - ahem - and the inevitable question comes up: "What are you doing these days?", or "How is the world of online travel?".

What is fascinating, once the formalities are out of the way, is how opinionated people can be about the way they now look for and book their holidays.

Some lament the decline of the travel agents, especially in rural Cambridgeshire, where the Mays have spent the past few days, but equally most are happy to book cheap flights over the web and are increasingly comfortable with more complex trips, such as long-haul holidays.

But in keeping with the trend for so-called Travel 2.0, Joe Public is increasingly turning to the web for research and is - perhaps most interestingly - trusting the opinions of other consumers, often at the expense of existing travel providers.

This isn't just the usual suspects such as TripAdvisor. Two, seemingly un-savvy relatives, had in fact used Yahoo! Answers and the forums on Lonely Planet.

In short: the "people" are turning to the web in their droves. And the industry needs to be ready to take advantage...

Kevin May, editor, Travolution


Gilles said...

User Generated Content in travel and price comparators are definitely here to stay... Another brick in the way Jo Public books his (her) next trip.

Darren Cronian said...

Funny Kev, I had the same discussions with family members, and I came to the same conclusion - people are becoming adventureous and are using the net to research and book their holidays.

I never knew Lonely Planet had a forum, so I'm off to go have a peak now!