Travel Industry Predictions for 2009

Tom Hanks wanted to be Big, we just want solid display advertising ROI.

Tom Hanks wanted to be Big, we just want solid display advertising ROI.

Recently, our counterpart at Travolution, Kevin May, asked us for our online, interactive or technology related travel industry predictions for the upcoming year.  More than happy to respond, we sent along a few thoughts for 2009:

  • Companies will get smarter about social media marketing. Hotels, CVBs, airlines, etc., will continue to adopt social media marketing into their interactive marketing strategy. However, unlike recent examples, organizations will begin to focus social media marketing efforts on relevant channels which will in-turn produce more qualified and actionable opportunities.
  • Fewer ‘Travel 2.0′ start-ups will exist at the end of 2009. Numerous factors including the global economy and content overlap will cause several ‘Travel 2.0′ companies…such as travel review or blog sites…to either fold or acquired by established online travel brands.
  • Technological advancements will progress at an increased pace. Several ongoing technology advancements, including mobile, social profile portability and synchronization tools, will require that companies within the travel industry become better prepared to adapt to this progression.

In addition, several other executives, bloggers and tweeters from the travel space also responded.  You can see all of the predictions at Travolution, but here are a few of our favorites:

  • Customers will be more promiscuous. Whereas they may have looked at four websites before making a decision on their holiday in 2008, they will be looking at probably at least eight in 2009. – Graham Donoghue, Travelsupermarket
  • Failure of travel companies who have neither scale nor a niche. – Ian Brooks,
  • 2009 will see an increase in demand from consumers for personalised information.  We’re already seeing an increase in airlines and tour operators crafting their information to suit the individual consumer and this will only be more in demand in the coming year. Technology will play a key role, whether it be through SMS itineraries or travel guides to their mobile phone. – Francesca Ecsery, Cheapflights UK
  • Technology to assist cutting costs – Professor Dimitrios Buhalis, Bournemouth University
  • The economic downturn is the catalyst that speeds up the inevitable shift in spend from traditional media to digital channels for advertising. – Terry Kane, Jumeirah
  • More brands will be getting into social media, and I don’t just mean Facebook and Twitter, but understanding and valuing online feedback from blogs and forums and acting on it will pay dividends. – Mel Carson, Microsoft AdCenter

Comment? @travel2dot0 or email.