Monday, December 31, 2007

Travolution Predictions for 2008

Our predictions for 2007 12 months ago didn't work out fantastically well - but then, who would've forecast the mergers of Thomas Cook-MyTravel and TUI-First Choice.

One we did get exactly right was the floatation of MoneySupermarket (parent company of Travelsupermarket).

So without further ado, are the Travolution Predictions for 2008. Add your own in the comments section below (please keep them serious).

* Consolidation for the first time amongst the OTAs in Europe. Hotel-strong Expedia to buy air-strong Opodo perhaps?

* Cheapflights to NOT go public on the London Stock Exchange.

* Holidays Uncovered content to feature on TUI Travel sites by Easter.

* TripAdvisor to incorporate third party OTA booking engines.

* Expected economic squeeze will be felt in High Street retail before OTAs.

* New websites for at least 50% of Europe's flag carrier airlines.

* SilverJet to reach Heathrow (codeshare?).

* Homeworking agencies growth to plateau.

Kevin May, editor, Travolution

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Richard Hartigan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Richard Hartigan said...

Now that search engines and price comparison sites are very confident in their business models, I predict a massive growth in CPA advertising for travel providers.

This will lead to more consolidation in the online advertising industry as conversion and sales become paramount to clicks and visitors once and for all.

Stephane Cheikh said...

2008 will be the year when we will see at least 5 to 10 airlines to allow inflight use of mobile phones aboard Airbus or Boeing aircrafts.

Claude said...

Some predictions for 2008

- Airbus A380 will have tourism impact in the Asia market

- development of inbound products (Holiday tours, sightseeing, attractions) in the booking engine with ISANGO, Expedia and OTA players

- semantic web impact Travel 2.0

and seems Travolution will lunch a new blog !!! by by tool ;-)

Happy new year


Karianne Timraz said...

We would agree with Richard Hartigan’s comment that affiliate marketing and performance based marketing is set to grow within the travel sector in 2008. The travel market is one of the sectors that has seen a dramatic, successful shift in moving from offline to online, and it is an area that we believe will continue to work well.

Our predictions are:

• Online travel agents (OTAs) will lose further market share to direct vendors and meta-search sites, with meta-search sites being the real winner in 2008. These sites will see massive gains in usage, market share and revenues – and will become a tangible threat to OTA’s.

• Overall marketing spend may tighten somewhat, but what there is will be even more biased towards the online channel. Google and affiliate networks on a cost per acquisition basis will be the great beneficiaries of this budget.

• In recent years paid and natural search have been successful tools within affiliate marketing, but we believe that in addition to meta search, the next stage of growth is likely to focus on content as well as increased diversity of information online. What we mean by that is there is a much bigger emphasis on the travel companies to provide up to the minute content and supporting tools, to ensure that the user has all of the information they need.

• The travel market is now focused on convergence with the user and web 2.0 technologies, which are developing in order to meet the growing demands of the online market. There are several new vehicles that can be used to reach and to talk to the user. Affiliates mainly need data from their advertisers to be able to monetise Web 2.0, and this can be done via audio and video podcasts, and widgets - which are essentially gadgets bringing the web to the user. An example of where users can keep their widgets is on the interface of their computer, for example allowing the user to have real-time, 24/7 updates on services, such as flight and holiday offers.

• Marketeers from all sides will experiment further with current and new to market social networks, but revenues will probably be marginal in the short term. Sites driven by users like MySpace, YouTube and Facebook are spreading like wild fire because they are very user-focused, and offer companies the opportunity to reach a targeted audience through user reviews and deep links to hotels and destination details. Increasing brand awareness has traction here, but it is similarly important to look after your brand name. A solution to this is the utilisation of tools which search the web and monitor brand comments, as well as seeking assurances and protection from display advertising networks.

• Having looked at trends across the online travel space we must also mention reward and loyalty sites which have been on the scene for a relatively long period of time – one example is Air Miles. These sites will continue to grow in popularity and at the same time they will become more important within the travel sector of affiliate marketing.

• Lastly, thanks to the increasing take up of smartphones across the world, we expect mobile travel to take off within the next two years, with brands initially testing a variety of ways to monetise through mobile.

Karianne Timraz, Travel Group Account Director, Commission Junction UK (part of ValueClick Europe).