Friday, September 19, 2008

Setting the record straight

US researcher PhoCusWright “debunked” six online travel myths at its first ever ‘analysts forum’ this week.

The company uses its own research to correct the misinformation, although some of the issues raised aren’t as cut and dry as the release suggests. Also remember that the myths are specific to the US market.

See what you think. Here goes:

MYTH THE FIRST: “The number of online travel buyers in the U.S. is declining
Not true. Growth is slowing, but it’s still growing.

MYTH THE SECOND: “More and more online travel shoppers use supplier sites than online travel agencies
Not true. OTAs are still a bigger part of the market than brand dotcoms, but it’d be dangerous to downplay the influence of supplier direct.

MYTH THE THIRD: “Travel agencies are experiencing a resurgence as travelers return to traditional purchasing channels
Not sure . eMarketer, another US research business, may be behind the myth. It’s look at the US market, issued in August, talked about “a renewed appreciation for the expertise and personalized services offered by traditional travel agents”. Maybe this is about methodology as much as mythology.

MYTH THE FOURTH: “The next generation of travelers prefers to do everything online
Not true. PCW debunks this with a stat from its own research - less than half of what 18-28 year olds spend on travel is spent online. So where do they spend the rest?

MYTH THE FIFTH: "Social networks and travel reviews have the greatest influence on travel decision-making".

Not sure. PhoCusWright says that OTAs and destination web sites are as popular with Generation Y travellers as social networks and reviews. Interesting to watch what happens as the OTAs and destination sites become more social , and vice versa.

MYTH THE SIXTH: "Online travel markets need high credit card and Internet penetration to succeed".
Not sure. India’s online travel market is growing despite 98% of the population not using credit cards or having access to the Internet. Maybe the 2% who do are wealthy enough to sustain and grow the business.

Food for thought...

Martin Cowen, chief writer, Travolution


Michael said...

Interesting article. I believe that classic travel agencies will remain as a significant revenue generator for the travel industry. Travelers will be calling them to try to sort out all of the vastness if information available on the net.

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Travolution Blogger said...

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