Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Predictions for 2007

As the UK’s leading media brand for the online travel industry, it is probably incumbent on us to pitch in a few forecasts to what might happen during 2007:

  • will be listed for the first time on the London Stock Exchange in order to raise capital for its European ambitions.
  • Moneysupermarket, parent company behind meta search engine Travelsupermarket, will also float to boost funds.
  • Networking site will be bought by one of the leading US travel groups…
  • …but a handful of travel groups will attempt to launch similar social sites of their own.
  • British Airways will set a precedent for the airline industry by dramatically overhauling its commercial arrangement with the GDSs.
  • One of the big UK national newspaper groups will sign a major deal with an online travel agent to enable booking on their travel channels…
  • ...while another with bypass the OTAs completely and head straight for a partnership with a meta/travel search engine.
  • We will finally see the so-called Genies (GDS alternatives) move into the European travel distribution space
  • We will see Sabre's new private equity owners snap up another travel technology firm to grow the business.
  • Mobile travel technology (that works) will make its long-awaited debut
  • Google will introduce the next phase of search, drastically changing the way people interact online, including the way they buy travel.
Add your own, tell us how wrong we are, via the comments button.

Kevin May, editor
Tricia Holly Davis, chief writer [who joined us this week]


Darren Cronian said...

Travel Rants bought in multi-million pound deal. Ok, so I can dream. I think you've covered it well there Kev, other than high street travel operator closes shops and moves to call centre technology in Asia ;-)

Nickky Swa said...

Three GDSs into two, perhaps?

Select World Travel said...

Charlton Win FA Cup ? Now that is dreaming.

mlf said...

Are you sure Cheapflights will float?

Travolution Blogger said...

nickky swa: I'm not sure for 2007. There is only so much private equity money about, and the existing GDSs will be consolidating and working our what to do going forward. Perhaps 2008

Travolution Blogger said...

mlf: The options for CF are 1) continue current set-up, 2) float, 3) sell, 4) injection of funds from private financiers.

the feeling in the market is that David Soskin would not sell the company. He is passionate about the business and would not want to leave, or hand over power to someone else. floating on the LSE would allow the company structure to remain in place and raise cash for the european expansion.

PE money does not ensure the long-term future of the company.

however, the company cannot maintain its status quo. something needs to happen.

Guillaume said...

"We will finally see the so-called Genies (GDS alternatives) move into the European travel distribution space"

are we calling them Genies or GNEs (Gds New Entrants)?


T Holly Davis said...

Guillaume, you are right that the correct industry acronym for "Genies" is "GNEs", which stands for GDS New Entrants. A Genie is a mythological figure who has the power to grant seemingly outrageous wishes, such as making a pauper a billionaire or creating a flawless travel distribution system. One should not confuse myth with reality.