Friday, January 18, 2008

Who will be the next outsider to make a bold move in travel?

our latest column in Travel Weekly:

For much of its history, the fate of the industry was guided by those who lived and breathed ‘travel’ for most of their professional careers.

An ambitious rep or counter clerk in an agency could rise through the ranks of a company or sector to become a key figure in shaping how the business developed.

Relationships – for ours is, perhaps more than any other, a ‘people’ industry – were an important catalyst in securing deals.

This is still the case, of course, but the web has enabled people with no previous interest or experience in the travel industry to swoop in with a big idea and make a success of it.

This is good news for the existing travel industry. Competition from outsiders with a fresh prospective can only be a positive thing.

In the past few years a number of supposed outsiders have made their mark on the web in a big way., and, for example, are all led by people with little or no experience in running travel businesses – but are doing an excellent job.

And, lest we forget, Expedia was created pretty much as a side project by that well known tech firm Microsoft.

The point to all this is that disruptive influences from outside the normal confines of a sector should be watched carefully, rather than shunned as ‘not one of us’ or ignored.

Something we are often asked is what outsiders are likely to emerge as big players within the travel industry in the coming months or years.

This is difficult to determine, such is the pace at which this industry develops, but from personal experience, there is one organisation we at Travolution feel has the opportunity to make a huge impact.

After spending countless hours browsing the web last June trying to find a holiday, Family May settled on one from a rather unlikely source.

Watch out for eBay.

Kevin May, editor, Travolution


Webster said...

OK ebay, but who was the actual holiday provider?

I can't see why ebay or other publishers would want to get into travel anymore than they have, they can get much higher margins elsewhere. Travel is more suited than any other product as so much can be done with e-tcikets etc but such is the level of competition and relatively low barrier to entry, margins are non exisitent.

In answer to your question look at the Reuben brothers £10m investment* in Silverjet (subject to due diligence!)

Travolution Blogger said...

Webster: it was a private owner of a villa. we "dynamically packaged" the trip ourselves with a LCC ticket.

the point is that ebay could become a signifcant aggregator of travel content in the same as travelsupermarket did.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

what about if people like tied up with people like Sky Scanner, Car rentals

The travelsupermarkets market share could vanish very quickly

Travolution Blogger said...

Anonymous 1 19/1/08: spam, do not post.

Martino said...

Google! We've been waiting for them to enter the travel market ever since they launched GoogleMaps. With the addition of YouTube, they can really corner the market by providing a mashup of price- and product-comparison engine.

Martino Matijevic, CEO

Travolution Blogger said...

Martino: Google's answer on this is always a steadfast NO.

However, use iGoogle and you can this yourself, very easily.

google maps
google earth
search (customised vertical)

easy... said...

Already when asking Google for e.g. "London Hotel" , I get the sponsored results of course but then underneath I get the local business results which includes reviews, directions (maps) and more.