Travel Trends: Even More Predictions & Trends for 2009

We’re approaching the end of the first full work week of 2009 and we hope that you’re not “in the weeds” yet or behind on your resolutions yet. While we’re all still in the introspective and reflective mood, we thought it might be interesting to share with you even more new research and predictions for 2009.

Social Media Predictions for 2009 – Recently, Peter Kim of Being Peter Kim asked fourteen great minds including Rohit Bhargava, Charlene Li and Scott Monty to share their outlook for how brands will use social media in 2009.   The full document is available here on Peter’s blog (pdf) and is well worth the read (it’s quick too!).  Some highlights include:

  • David Armano & Pete Blackshaw: Brands will learn not to “launch and walk away” from from projects; it takes a dedicated and passionate group of group of people to make social media both succesful, viable and sustainable.   Just look at Zappos, Dell & Comcast.    If you’re only interested in launching a Facebook page, a Twitter account and letting RSS feeds do the work, don’t bother starting!
  • Rohit Bhargava & Charlene Li:  Find your most passionate employees (spokespeople) and give them ways to amplify their voices; in a down economy, you’ll need every resource on your team…don’t let the marketing & PR team limit you!
  • Chris Brogan:   While the big networks (Facebook, Twitter etc.) will continue to thrive, smaller, niche focused networks will emerge and the recession will result in the vast majority of other general interes social networks to consolidate (hey maybe Catster and Dogster will finally get along!)
  • Ann Handley: Conversely, the economy and contracting budgets will make social media engagement a more attractive option for many companies (yes, but don’t forget the first bullet!)

Travelers’ Use of the Internet -The U.S. Travel Association (we knew them earlier as TIA), recently released their annual Travelers’ Use of the Internet report. The report profiles domestic “Online Travelers,” (defined as those who use the Internet to plan and/or book travel) and chronicles their “use of the Internet for travel planning, travel products purchased online, satisfaction with the process and a comparison of U.S. adults who book travel online versus those who use other means.” Having just read the Executive Summary, I can’t say that I am completely surprised by the key findings. They include:

  • Internet use reached a pleatau in the U.S. hovering around 160 million users
  • The largest segment of “online travelers” are between 30 and 49 years old (42%) and just over half have a household income of over $50,000
  • The primary tools for travel planning are online travel agency websites (66% of online travel planners), search engines (60%), company websites (57%) and destination websites (46%)
  • Online travel planners most often print out travel information/online brochures (46%), request printed brochures (40%), print out coupons (29%) and look at comments and materials provided by other travelers (28%)

The full survey is available for $250 (members) or $400 (non-members).

Comment? @travel2dot0 or email.