Archive for January, 2006

Price vs. value continued….

Posted on January 30, 2006. Filed under: Uncategorized |

How To Survive The Cheap Revolution.

Some of the questions raised by Rich Karlgaard in this post  have obvious implications also on the travel industry.
We’ve seen last year’s focus on the metasearch companies which have
caused quite a stir in the market and disrupted the existing
relationships between agencies and suppliers.

Their growth has re-inforced the already strong consumer and media
perception that online travel is all about getting the cheapest price, rather than the place where great value travel offers can easily be purchased.

In the next wave, the companies impacted the most, might well be the
traditional tour operators whose role as aggregators of services,
selling them in pre-packaged bundles will increasingly be challenged as
technology will enable self-packaging of even complex multi-destination
trips and all their elements.

While this might not necessarily result in cheaper packages, they
will correspond more closely to what the customer really "wants" to buy
rathern than "has" to buy. This type of product will also allow the
focus to shif more from purely cheap price to added value.

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It’s about time….

Posted on January 25, 2006. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Travel websites gain visitors by offering more than low prices.

The evolution in consumers’ use of the Internet for planning and purchasing travel, and changes in how online sellers of travel interact with their customers fueled the growth.

Yes, it’s about time, was my first thought reading this news item and I only wonder why it apparently took so long for online travel providers to figure this out. I’m glad to see that at least some media start educating readers that online travel sites are about more than just the lowest price, and that the maxim of "you get what you pay for" is valid in this industry as in any other, and that "if the deal sounds too good to be true, be careful" should be heeded as well…..

I’ve long been a firm believer that the path to profitable growth for any travel services provider, online or offline, which increasingly is irrelevant, is to focus on added value propositions vs. low price. Now, admittedly, this is more challenging and requires more effort that just jump on the downward bound train but ultimately the only way to long term success.

To be truly customer focused will require much improved technology to make the travel planning and buying experience online a seamless, easy and pleasant one. Today’s reality is far from being that, with incremental add-ons and improvements rather than truly great user experience break throughs, such as one stop shopping for self-packaged multiple destination trips or in other words truly dynamic packages that are easily put together based on individual components from various sources.

It will be interesting to see who will be on the market with these tools first and emphasize a great customer shopping experience rather than the lowest price.

 

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What the world needs now….!

Posted on January 25, 2006. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Trump expands into online travel.

Expanding his empire beyond hotels, casinos and his TV hit, The Apprentice, Donald Trump today announced the launch of GoTrump.com, an online site dedicated to “The Art of the Travel Deal.”

I guess this is just what the travel world needs, another low price focused travel site! Does this make The Donald the ultimate home based travel agent? I like the line: " I like to travel and want people to experience, blah, blah…." As if Joe Blow on a budget was able to copy the Trump travel experience by private jet, to private villa on a private island….. Good luck!

Having said that, who knows, it probably will be a success, at least from a branding standpoint, which gives The Donald’s site a leg up over all the other wannabes.

 

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Really?

Posted on January 13, 2006. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Kayak.com recognized as Best New Travel Web Site.

A number of leading media outlets, including the New York Post, BusinessWeek Online and U.S. News & World Report, have recognized Kayak.com as one of the Best Travel Web Sites of 2005.

(more…)

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