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:
- Cheapflights.co.uk 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 WAYN.com 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.
Kevin May, editor
Tricia Holly Davis, chief writer [who joined us this week]