Tim Hughes puts the boot into the highs and lows of the online travel business (with an Australasian/Asian bias) with some blogging about consuming and loving travel thrown in.
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Doom and gloom in the online US travel market ...so they say
Travelmole has picked up a story from eMarketer saying that there is trouble ahead for online travel because US growth rates from here until 2010 will only be 17% a year down from the 28% per year enjoyed from 2002 to 2006. The end of the world is nigh! Baloney!. Just a press release from a research org to generate buzz around their research. The key to the story is not that the US online travel market is either slowing in its growth or that there is a risk of commoditization of travel - the true story is that this year online travel will be more than 50% of the market. The story is not about the pain in online travel but the pain in offline. At 50% plus of the market the online industry goes beyond being a mature sector of the overall market to being THE market [full stop]. Research firms need to shift their thinking from hyper growth being necessary to talk about online travel's success to the complete redefinition of the market that is now a reality.
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Yeah, but unfortunately the media will give "doom & gloom" stories more air play/column inches than positive ones. And the PR types work this angle for better mileage.
Speaking of online travel, it seems more and more web 2.0 travel sites appear, i.e. the ones that combine social community interaction with trip planning capabilities. The site is called TripWiser, but they are still in beta, you need to sign up to get access. They have thousands of pre-defined itineraries that you can customize, view on the map, Google map, of course, and so on. It is all for the US only, it seems. Would be nice to see this type of thing worldwide. If anyone is interested, here is the link: http://www.tripwiser.com
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