year 2010
1688 days ago
 

Tnooz predictions for 2010 – the biggest and best list in travel tech

After what has been a terrible year for many in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry, will 2010 bring commercial joy to the sector or simply more of the same as companies dig in for further financial pressure?

What are some of the social and mobile trends likely to impact on travel consumers? And is the industry well placed to handle changes in airline and hotel distribution?

Here each member of the Tnooz team has drawn on his or her wisdom and experience so can we offer you the ultimate prediction list for 2010. Enjoy, and feel free to add your own…

Alex Bainbridge

bainbridge, alex-node1

  • Travel technology companies are in trouble. Many tend to use professional services (training/consultancy/initial setup) to help cover their fixed operational costs. If travel companies merge, go out of business or put off projects for 12 months, the fixed system developments required for operational stability can sometimes not be covered by standard software license fees. Failure for travel technology companies to remain current can lead to their clients losing out to their competitors. It’s a situation that doesn’t make that many headlines, but travel technology companies, the infrastructure behind many travel companies, hurt badly in a downturn.
  • 2010 will be the year of the niche tour operator/activity company. Airlines will stop referring to tours/activities as ancillary revenue but realise that these products rather than being an extra to a flight purchase are often the reason people go travelling in the first place. For enlightened airlines this may change how they use the web – eg expect to see many widgets which permit flight availability to be incorporated into small tour operator/activity company websites, even if the transaction isn’t being distributed to that company for commercial/regulatory reasons.

Charlie Li

li, charlie-node1

  • China will play a much signficant role in the world travel and tourism market as the Chinese goverment is expediting to open the travel market. The government here is considering to deregulate its heavily protected outbound travel market under which the multinational companies will be allowed to step into the outbound travel business. It may take time for the international players to dominate the market, but we should expect more industry conslidation will be happening in the near future. Rumours abound that Travelsky is now in discussions with Sabre to set up a JV to help the Chinese carriers sell overseas. These are all good signs for both the Chinese and international companies.
  • Social media will play an increasingly important role in airline’s distribution channel, rather than as a marketing or customer service tool at this moment. The major international carriers will keep investing on their social media initative and we may see more twitter or facebook-only offerings on the market. The airlines may launch the group book implications in partner with the major social media sites, like Facebook, Twitter, etc…

Claude Benard

benard, claude-node1

  • China is the tourism country of the year. Everybody agrees that China’s internet community is growing very fast and in the next ten years the Chinese internet will become almost as big as all the rest put together. China still one of the countries with great growth (9.3%) and everybody is looking to attract these lucrative Chinese tourists.
  • Travel bloggers make their way at large scale. Marketing departments and public relations companies are looking to deal with travel bloggers. They want access to their authenticity, their communities, and their conversations. Even a network like Travel Guide (ex-Lonely Planet) and others will be looking into it it!

Dennis Schaal

schaal, dennis-node1

  • Google Wave – The latest “game-changer. Google Wave, will be a relative dud in terms of adoption and won’t change the way the masses communicate. I joined the Wave October 11, 2009, and haven’t seen anything going on with my Wave-mates. Google has great resources to market Google Wave, but perhaps it will prove in 2010 to be uber-techie for average consumers.
  • Merchandising – We ain’t seen nothing yet in terms of airline merchandising so look for carriers all over the world to introduce a bunch of new, pay-as-you-go services on board and off. And, if the hotel industry starts to come back in 2010, I expect them to begin to get into the merchandising/optional services act, as well.

Gene Quinn

quinn, gene-about us-100px

  • Micro-site advertising will proliferate on travel web sites. Why? Because banners work but are hard to measure. Because CPC and CPA ads are more measurable but don’t work well as advertising. Micro-sites allow companies to tell their story within the travel or media site, and creative teams (and agencies) will have a blast making rich media stories.
  • Travel guides as ebooks will be the new mashups. What a great long-tail application of part-evergreen (e.g., maps, video tours) and part-dynamic (e.g., pricing, seasonal destination packages) news, information and recommendations that change throughout the seasons. Many creative moths (titles/apps) to big ebook flames (platforms) like Amazon, Google, Barnes & Noble, Apple.

Jeremy Head

head, jeremy-node1

  • Outreach/offsite activity will become the domain not just of the niche players, but also the big brands, too. No-one can doubt the value of social media for brand promotion and for increased link equity. Even the big guys now realise they need to engage with people in these spaces. Lots of the big UK tour operators I work with now completely accept that they have to put serious budget towards developing and implementing social media strategies.
  • Expect to see the metamorphosis of some PR and marketing companies into ‘social spaces outreach experts’ and be very afraid… there will be some clumsy interventions. And some far more subtle ones… And people will debate this a great deal. Can brands live in social spaces or will people rebel against the thought of a corporation trying to influence them in this way? It will be a fascinating ride.

Kevin May

may, kevin-about us-100px

  • IPOs – Rumours abound that Amadeus and Travelport are keen, Kayak is supposedly toying with the idea, and goodness knows who else. As a result we will probably see a ramping up of staffing requirements (even wholesale relocation in the case of Travelport) and the introduction of new features into the business to make them more attractive to wannabe investors. Think Kayak’s move into intermediary-land on the one hand and Travelport’s focus on the UK as its rapidly growing new tech base. And with IPOs come cash – a valuable commodity for any travel tech or media firm to expand, acquire or innovate.
  • While mobile is undoubtedly the platform where almost all travel companies are starting to focus their attention, no significant player has emerged that has mobile at its core. Almost all of the apps and mobile-based browsers are based on the original browser functionality – a re-engineering of the core product. Can we expect to see a travel brand emerge in the next 12 months which uses the South Korean approach, develop for the mobile browser and market first and then spin off to a browser? I think we can. This would obviously be an OTA or meta player. There is room to do this, whereas arguably browser-based entrants face far stiffer competition.

Martin Schobert

schobert, martin-node1

  • Location, Location, Location – According to Comscore three of the top five US travel sites currently are map-based (Mapquest, Google Maps and Yahoo Maps). Nokia – has currently developed their Nokia Maps 2.0 version; iPhone and Android use of maps; and map-based services like AroundMe, Qype and so on. All are exciting and useful. Maps are essential to explore or discover a destination during the travel planning process to provide increases in user experience on travel websites or gain many benefits for local travel information searches.
  • Augmented Reality – Augmented Reality means overlaying data on your environment seen through your phone camera. Travellers walking around a city or landscape see their surrounding area coming up with names and heights of peaks around them, Wikipedia entries about the sights they see, reviews about things in their neighborhood. GPS based the aggregation technology in modern phones combines as a mash-up the phone-camera with different data sources that all can provide useful travel data to travellers exploring a destination.

Norm Rose

rose, norm - node1

  • Mobile Downloadable Apps will continue to grow. Whether it is ordering room services prior to check-in from you mobile phone or buying ancillary services from your favorite airline, mobile apps are becoming a standard platform to deliver more personalized services. After a year of debate around the mobile web versus downloadable mobile apps, it has become clear that downloadable apps can deliver additional location based services that are more highly personalized. I believe all the major travel suppliers and intermediaries who have not yet implemented downloadable mobile apps in 2009 launching these apps in 2010. The main focus will be on iPhone, BlackBerry and Android.
  • Airline Merchandizing Efforts will Disrupt the Traditional Distribution Environment – Airlines will continue to push the travel distribution players to accommodate more sophisticated ancillary services and fare families.  Given AA’s stance that all connectivity needs to be via XML (versus EDIFACT), this will likely push alternative distribution methods such as Farelogix.   Every point of sale needs to be updated to accommodate these new fare families, but this will likely not be resolved in 2010.  As a result, OTAs, CBTs, TMCs and traditional travel agencies will struggle with presenting ancillary fees and fare families at the point of sale to the consumer.  The corporate market will struggle to determine the total cost of airfare given the growth of these ancillary fees.

Siew Hoon Yeoh

yeoh, siew hoon-node1

  • The C Spot – It will be all about the Customer in 2010. A smarter, value-seeking, online savvy consumer who has emerged from the Year of the Deal and can now be found from emerging markets like Vietnam to matured markets like Singapore. Suppliers will become more direct-facing as those in resort locations try to reduce their dependence on traditional wholesalers. Suppliers will also seek alternate distribution channels, become smarter about analyzing data so they know where their customers are coming from and where the highest yields are. After a year of tough love, suppliers in Asia will turn their attention to hitting the Customer Sweet Spot or “The C Spot” focusing on loyalty and retention, by using customer-facing and engaging technologies. Social media and mobile will feature big in this changing landscape.
  • LAV of Travel – Low cost, Asia, Value. The three words that will dominate the Asia-Pacific market in 2010. Low cost carriers will dominate the market and continue to drive deals and new destinations and change the way people live, work and play in the region. As a result, intra-Asian travel will boom as they are the quickest markets to rebound – longhaul markets such as Europe and US will take a backrow seat. More consumers will move online to look not only for deals but for value. Suppliers will have to rethink their strategies to reach and attract these new LAV travellers with the use of new technologies and platforms – from Wego’s new search paradigm to tools like Google Street View just launched in Singapore in December, for example.

Stephan Ekbergh

ekbergh, stephan-node1

  • If you think PCI compliance was tricky for travel e-commerce wait for the new regulations put together with the major business banks and Visa/Mastercard. It will put significant pressure on airlines with dodgy balance sheets (all of them?) and OTAs. It will force some to close down or be acquired by larger groups. It will  block start ups and competiton will become dull. Generally, travel e-commerce will become less vigilant and all business development will be done mobile in the coming years.
  • 2010 is a revival year for service, sending people back to travel agents in droves. The major drivers are the airlines unbundling and no service scheme that frustrates travellers which backfires. It’s also the year when some airlines finally start to crack the code on in-flight service differentiation introducing three and three-class service to a greater degree. It’s also the year when conflict between some airlines and OTAs will come out in full bloom, never to be repaired again.

Stephen Joyce

joyce, stephen-node1

  • Google will finally release a phone capable of competing with the iPhone, both in terms of performance and stylishness. This will result in a surge in mobile applications developed for the Android. Although this will initially have little effect on the stronghold that Nokia has on the European and Asian markets, we will see the North American fragment further with Android taking market share from both the iPhone and Blackberry markets. The new Google phone will allow convergence of various Google technologies including more social applications based on Google FriendConnect, maps, latitude, tours, and Street View.
  • Alternate distribution will be the name of the game. There will be a surge in the number of micro-distribution channels throughout the accommodations and tour and activity space. Individual hotels and chains will be using new and existing technologies to automate concierge functions and provide their guests with a more inclusive experience. Clever hoteliers will turn their hotels into tourism information and booking hubs for the guests. DMOs, desperate for funds after two years of cuts and reductions, will be looking at new revenue sources. As distribution channels they will want to provide a common interface by promoting standard messaging and connectivity.

Tim Hughes

hughes, tim-node1

  • Consolidation in the sector (surely!). This is a left over predictions from 2009. The conditions in the year of the GFC seemed perfect for consolidation. Stock prices were depressed, cost cutting acceptable and appetite for organically funded expansion low.  But we saw virtually nothing that could be called a “big deal”. There was deal activity but was at the lower end such as through regional tuck-ins (ie Travelocity buying Travelguru, and Ctrip buying EZtravel), small local deals (ie Wotif buying GoDo) and constant content site acquisition by TripAdvisor. With bankers chasing bonuses and companies chasing growth in 2010, I expect to see some consolidation in the big end of online travel town.
  • Recommendations as the future of online travel: Search – as a means for customers finding what they want in online travel – is no longer as effective in 2009 as it was in 2005. Two causes – the explosion of content through the UGC revolution and consumers desire to seek answers to open ended questions (ie where should I go next) that are not easily answered by a search model based on taking you to one site. 2010 will see even more investment by start ups and established companies on different ways of searching and on methodologies for recommending. The long term future is the ability to generate a recommendation of one based on the individuals unique combination of desires, needs and interests of an individual at a particular point in time (EveryYou).  The 2010 future is increased profiling, increased data collection and even more start up activity around search and discovery.

Timothy O’Neil-Dunne

dunne-o'neil, tim-node1

  • Fragmentation and Bilateralism – I believe that these are part of the same trend. We are now so efficient in our businesses that we want to provide more appropriate differentiated  products to our best customers. We are moving from a single holistic multilateral model to multiple bilateral models. This is an umbrella movement of which dealerships and direct connect are one part. The other is the differentiated content/product that will be provided to the end consumer by suppliers and aggregators alike. 2010 marks the return of true consumer choice. It will not be easy. But I believe the trend is inevitable.

Troy Thompson

thompson, troy-node1

  • Will the mobile predictions actually take hold in 2010? – Mobile will be the most popular prediction by pundits, commentators and bloggers for 2010 (and 2009 and 2008…), however it remains to be seen if mainstream consumers share this view of the coming mobile messiah.  While anyone can point to a seemingly endless pile of stats and figures…iPhones sold, apps downloaded, mobile usage…one cannot help but feel that while the consumer is now is possession of a smart phone, are they smart enough to understand how to use it?  Sure, your techie friend is all about Foursquare, but does your mom use and understand that fancy Urbanspoon app?  There is no doubt we have entered the age of the mobile computing device, but just like the computer before it, consumers will require time to learn the capabilities of these new magical applications.  My prediction is that we will still be predicting mobile at the close of 2010.
  • Can CVBs and DMOs pull it all together? DMOs are good at a lot of things and copying other DMOs is right on the top of that list. By this point, any self-respecting CVB has a Twitter profile, Facebook page and YouTube channel. Heck, they probably have all of those cute icons plastered on every corner of their site and emails. We have started shooting video, contributed to TripAdvisor and Yelp, ran a couple of Twitter only contests…maybe even started and kept up with a blog. That was the easy part. You did it. Kudos on the Twitter icon. Now what does it all mean? How will CVBs and DMOs pull this ever expanding universe of interactive marketing into one cohesive message that not only makes sense to the consumer, but also creates real engagement? Sorry, having ‘friends’ is not enough. Is your interactive strategy influencing travel and are you showing your executive team results?  2010 is the year to pull it all together, skim off the junk, and really start a conversation with your consumer.

Valyn Perini

perini, valyn-node1

  • More niche travel content – tours, activities, golf, vacation/villa rentals – will move online in consumer-friendly form, including rich media and content, real-time availability, perhaps even transactions where appropriate.  Consumer demand will grow, which will lead to more funding and more start-ups, which may finally convince the large OTCs and GDS’ that these segments are worth pursuing.
  • Declining costs of technology, an increased awareness of the value of messaging standards, and the constant search by distributors for additional electronic inventory, will combine to allow small-to-medium suppliers in all segments to expose their inventory cost-effectively and competitively, increasing their market share and providing consumers with meaningful travel product choices.
Alex Bainbridge
Travel technology companies are in trouble. Many tend to use professional services (training/consultancy/initial setup) to help cover their fixed operational costs. If travel companies merge, go out of business or put off projects for 12
months, the fixed system developments required for operational stability can sometimes not be covered by standard software license fees. Failure for travel technology companies to remain current can lead to their clients losing out
to their competitors. It’s a situation that doesn’t make that many headlines, but travel technology companies, the infrastructure behind many travel companies, hurt badly in a downturn.
2010 will be the year of the niche tour operator/activity company. Airlines will stop referring to tours/activities as ancillary revenue but realise that these products rather than being an extra to a flight purchase are often the reason
people go travelling in the first place. For enlightened airlines this may change how they use the web – eg expect to see many widgets which permit flight availability to be incorporated into small tour operator/activity company
websites, even if the transaction isn’t being distributed to that company for commercial/regulatory reasons.
Charlie Li
China will play a much signficant role in the world travel and tourism market as the Chinese goverment is expediting to open the travel market. According to the news released on Dec.3, the government is considering to deregulate its heavily protected outbound travel market under which the multinational companies will be allowed to step into the outbound travel business. It may take time for the international players to dominate the market, but we should expect more industry conslidation will be happening in the near future.The source also said Travelsky is now in discussion with Sabre to set up a JV to help the Chinese carriers sell overseas. These are all good signs for both the Chinese and international companies.
Social media will play an increasingly important role in airline’s distribution channel, rather than as a marketing or customer service tool at this moment. The major international carriers will keep investing on their social media initative and we may see more twitter or facebook-only offerings on the market. The airlines may launch the group book implications in partner with the major social media sites, like facebook, twitter,etc…
Claude Benard
China is the tourism country of the year. Everybody agrees that China’s internet community is growing very fast and in the next ten years the Chinese internet will become almost as big as all the rest put together. China still one of the countries with great growth (9.3%) and everybody is looking to attract these lucrative Chinese tourists
Travel bloggers make their way at large scale. Marketing departments and public relations companies are looking to deal with travel bloggers. They want access to their authenticity, their communities, and their conversations. Even a network like Travel Guide (ex-Lonely Planet) and others will be looking into it it!
Dennis Schaal
Google Wave – The latest “game-changer. Google Wave, will be a relative dud in terms of adoption and won’t change the way the masses communicate. I joined the Wave October 11, 2009, and haven’t seen anything going on with
my Wave-mates. Google has great resources to market Google Wave, but perhaps it will prove in 2010 to be uber-techie for average consumers.
Merchandising – We ain’t seen nothing yet in terms of airline merchandising so look for carriers all over the world to introduce a bunch of new, pay-as-you-go services on board and off. And, if the hotel industry starts to come back in
2010, I expect them to begin to get into the merchandising/optional services act, as well.
Gene Quinn
Micro-site advertising will proliferate on travel web sites. Why? Because banners work but are hard to measure. Because CPC and CPA ads are more measurable but don’t work well as advertising. Micro-sites allow companies to tell their story within the travel or media site, and creative teams (and agencies) will have a blast making rich media stories.
Travel guides as ebooks will be the new mashups. What a great long-tail application of part-evergreen (e.g., maps, video tours) and part-dynamic (e.g., pricing, seasonal destination packages) news, information and recommendations that change throughout the seasons. Many creative moths (titles/apps) to big ebook flames (platforms) like Amazon, Google, Barnes & Noble, Apple.
Jeremy Head
Outreach/offsite activity will become the domain not just of the niche players, but also the big brands, too. No-one can doubt the value of social media for brand promotion and for increased link equity. Even the big guys now realise
they need to engage with people in these spaces. Lots of the big UK tour operators I work with now completely accept that they have to put serious budget towards developing and implementing social media strategies.
Expect to see the metamorphosis of some PR and marketing companies into ‘social spaces outreach experts’ and be very afraid… there will be some clumsy interventions. And some far more subtle ones… And people will debate
this a great deal. Can brands live in social spaces or will people rebel against the thought of a corporation trying to influence them in this way? It will be a fascinating ride.
Martin Schobert
Location, Location, Location – According to Comscore three of the top five US travel sites currently are map-based (Mapquest, Google and Yahoo maps). Nokia – has currently developed their Nokia Maps 2.0 version; iPhone and Android use of maps; and map-based services like AroundMe, Qype and so on. All are exciting and useful. Maps are essential to explore or discover a destination during the travel planning process to provide increases in user experience on travel websites or gain many benefits for local travel information searches
Augmented Reality – Augmented Reality means overlaying data on your environment seen through your phone camera. Travellers walking around a city or landscape see their surrounding area coming up with names and heights of peaks around them, Wikipedia entries about the sights they see, reviews about things in their neighborhood. GPS based the aggregation technology in modern phones combines as a mash-up the phone-camera with different data sources that all can provide useful travel data to travellers exploring a destination.
Norm Rose
Mobile Downloadable Apps will continue to grow. Whether it is ordering room services prior to check-in from you mobile phone or buying ancillary services from your favorite airline, mobile apps are becoming a standard platform to deliver more personalized services. After a year of debate around the mobile web versus downloadable mobile apps, it has become clear that downloadable apps can deliver additional location based services that are more highly personalized. I believe all the major travel suppliers and intermediaries who have not yet implemented downloadable mobile apps in 2009 launching these apps in 2010. The main focus will be on iPhone, BlackBerry and Android.
Airline Merchandizing Efforts will Disrupt the Traditional Distribution Environment – Airlines will continue to push the travel distribution players to accommodate more sophisticated ancillary services and fare families.  Given AA’s stance that all connectivity needs to be via XML (versus EDIFACT), this will likely push alternative distribution methods such as Farelogix.   Every point of sale needs to be updated to accommodate these new fare families, but this will likely not be resolved in 2010.   As a result, OTAs, CBTs, TMCs and traditional travel agencies will struggle with presenting ancillary fees and fare families at the point of sale to the consumer.   The corporate market will struggle to determine the total cost of airfare given the growth of these ancillary fees.
Siew Hoon Yeoh
The C Spot – It will be all about the Customer in 2010. A smarter, value-seeking, online savvy consumer who has emerged from the Year of the Deal and can now be found from emerging markets like Vietnam to matured markets like
Singapore. Suppliers will become more direct-facing as those in resort locations try to reduce their dependence on traditional wholesalers. Suppliers will also seek alternate distribution channels, become smarter about analyzing data
so they know where their customers are coming from and where the highest yields are. After a year of tough love, suppliers in Asia will turn their attention to hitting the Customer Sweet Spot or “The C Spot” focusing on loyalty and
retention, by using customer-facing and engaging technologies. Social media and mobile will feature big in this changing landscape.
LAV of Travel – Low cost, Asia, Value. The three words that will dominate the Asia-Pacific market in 2010. Low cost carriers will dominate the market and continue to drive deals and new destinations and change the way people live,
work and play in the region. As a result, intra-Asian travel will boom as they are the quickest markets to rebound – longhaul markets such as Europe and US will take a backrow seat. More consumers will move online to look not
only for deals but for value. Suppliers will have to rethink their strategies to reach and attract these new LAV travellers with the use of new technologies and platforms – from Wego’s new search paradigm to tools like Google Street
View just launched in Singapore in December, for example.
Stephan Ekbergh
If you think PCI compliance was tricky for travel e-commerce wait for the new regulations put together with the major business banks and Visa/Mastercard. It will put significant pressure on airlines with dodgy balance sheets (all of
them?) and OTAs. It will force some to close down or be acquired by larger groups. It will  block start ups and competiton will become dull. Generally, travel e-commerce will become less vigilant and all business development will be
done mobile in the coming years.
2010 is a revival year for service, sending people back to travel agents in droves. The major drivers are the airlines unbundling and no service scheme that frustrates travellers which backfires. It’s also the year when some airlines
finally start to crack the code on in-flight service differentiation introducing three and three-class service to a greater degree. It’s also the year when conflict between some airlines and OTAs will come out in full bloom, never to be
repaired again.
Stephen Joyce
Google will finally release a phone capable of competing with the iPhone, both in terms of performance and stylishness. This will result in a surge in mobile applications developed for the Android. Although this will initially have little effect on the stronghold that Nokia has on the European and Asian markets, we will see the North American fragment further with Android taking market share from both the iPhone and Blackberry markets. The new Google phone will allow convergence of various Google technologies including more social applications based on Google FriendConnect, Maps, Latitude, Tours, and Street View.
Alternate distribution will be the name of the game. There will be a surge in the number of micro-distribution channels throughout the accommodations and tour and activity space. Individual hotels and chains will be using new and existing technologies to automate concierge functions and provide their guests with a more inclusive experience. Clever hoteliers will turn their hotels into tourism information and booking hubs for the guests. DMOs, desperate for funds after two years of cuts and reductions, will be looking at new revenue sources. As distribution channels they will want to provide a common interface by promoting standard messaging and connectivity.
Tim Hughes
Consolidation in the sector (surely!). This is a left over predictions from 2009. The conditions in the year of the GFC seemed perfect for consolidation. Stock prices were depressed, cost cutting acceptable and appetite for organically funded expansion low.  But we saw virtually nothing that could be called a “big deal”. There was deal activity but was at the lower end such as through regional tuck-ins (ie Travelocity buying Travelguru, and Ctrip buying EZtravel), small local deals (ie Wotif buying GoDo) and constant content site acquisition by TripAdvisor. With bankers chasing bonuses and companies chasing growth in 2010, I expect to see some consolidation in the big end of online travel town.
Recommendations as the future of online travel: Search – as a means for customers finding what they want in online travel – is no longer as effective in 2009 as it was in 2005. Two causes – the explosion of content through the UGC revolution and consumers desire to seek answers to open ended questions (ie where should I go next) that are not easily answered by a search model based on taking you to one site. 2010 will see even more investment by start ups and established companies on different ways of searching and on methodologies for recommending. The long term future is the ability to generate a recommendation of one based on the individuals unique combination of desires, needs and interests of an individual at a particular point in time (EveryYou).  The 2010 future is increased profiling, increased data collection and even more start up activity around search and discovery.
Timothy O’Neil-Dunne
Fragmentation and Bilateralism – I believe that these are part of the same trend. We are now so efficient in our businesses that we want to provide more appropriate differentiated  products to our best customers. We are moving from
a single holistic multilateral model to multiple bilateral models. This is an umbrella movement of which dealerships and direct connect are one part. The other is the differentiated content/product that will be provided to the end
consumer by suppliers and aggregators alike. 2010 marks the return of true consumer choice. It will not be easy. But I believe the trend is inevitable.
Troy Thompson
Will the mobile predictions actually take hold in 2010? – Mobile will be the most popular prediction by pundits, commentators and bloggers for 2010 (and 2009 and 2008…), however it remains to be seen if mainstream consumers
share this view of the coming mobile messiah.  While anyone can point to a seemingly endless pile of stats and figures…iPhones sold, apps downloaded, mobile usage…one cannot help but feel that while the consumer is now is
possession of a smart phone, are they smart enough to understand how to use it?  Sure, your techie friend is all about Foursquare, but does your mom use and understand that fancy Urbanspoon app?  There is no doubt we have
entered the age of the mobile computing device, but just like the computer before it, consumers will require time to learn the capabilities of these new magical applications.  My prediction is that we will still be predicting mobile at the
close of 2010.
Can CVBs and DMOs pull it all together? DMOs are good at a lot of things and copying other DMOs is right on the top of that list. By this point, any self-respecting CVB has a Twitter profile, Facebook page and YouTube channel.
Heck, they probably have all of those cute icons plastered on every corner of their site and emails. We have started shooting video, contributed to TripAdvisor and Yelp, ran a couple of Twitter only contests…maybe even started and
kept up with a blog. That was the easy part. You did it. Kudos on the Twitter icon. Now what does it all mean? How will CVBs and DMOs pull this ever expanding universe of interactive marketing into one cohesive message that not
only makes sense to the consumer, but also creates real engagement? Sorry, having ‘friends’ is not enough. Is your interactive strategy influencing travel and are you showing your executive team results?  2010 is the year to pull it
all together, skim off the junk, and really start a conversation with your consumer.
Valyn Perini
More niche travel content – tours, activities, golf, vacation/villa rentals – will move online in consumer-friendly form, including rich media and content, real-time availability, perhaps even transactions where appropriate.  Consumer
demand will grow, which will lead to more funding and more start-ups, which may finally convince the large OTCs and GDS’ that these segments are worth pursuing.
Declining costs of technology, an increased awareness of the value of messaging standards, and the constant search by distributors for additional electronic inventory, will combine to allow small-to-medium suppliers in all segments
to expose their inventory cost-effectively and competitively, increasing their market share and providing consumers with meaningful travel product choices.
 
 
Kevin May

About the Writer :: Kevin May

Kevin May is editor and a co-founder of Tnooz. He was previously editor of UK-based magazine Travolution for nearly four years and web editor of Media Week UK from 2003 to 2005.

He has also worked in regional newspapers (Essex Enquirer) and started his career in journalism at the Police Gazette at New Scotland Yard in London. He has a degree in criminology and a postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism.

 

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  1. Karmveer

    Kevin nice write up. Its good to read predictions few year later. Cannot agree more to each point of yours.
    On your last prediction point I must say it is very much happening in India. You will probably see a surge in travel product options[hotels] and destination which are bookable online in coming years too.

     
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  5. Part Six - So what happened to travel tech in 2010? | Tnooz

    [...] We asked the Tnooz Nodes to reflect on their Predictions 2010 from 12 months ago – do they have Oracle status or did something come along to derail their [...]

     
  6. Part Four - So what happened to travel tech in 2010? | Tnooz

    [...] We asked the Tnooz Nodes to reflect on their Predictions 2010 from 12 months ago – do they have Oracle status or did something come along to derail their [...]

     
  7. Part Two - So what happened to travel tech in 2010? | Tnooz

    [...] We asked the Tnooz Nodes to reflect on their Predictions 2010 from 12 months ago – do they have Oracle status or did something come along to derail their [...]

     
  8. Part One - So what happened to travel tech in 2010? | Tnooz

    [...] We asked the Tnooz Nodes to reflect on their Predictions 2010 from 12 months ago – do they have Oracle status or did something come along to derail their [...]

     
  9. Tnooz Predictions 2011 - the biggest and best list in travel tech | Tnooz

    [...] Over the next few weeks, some will be reflecting on their Predictions 2010 and their favourite articles of the [...]

     
  10. Marc-Oliver

    Predictions for 2015:

    The classic branded/corporate website for most DMO’s will be dead. A growing digitized culture already established new user patterns where websites as we know it have no impact at all. The natural instinct changed in which we gather and access information.

    Every single marketing campaign and pr effort will lead to branded hubs on social network sites. The maintenance is faster, cheaper and more efficient.

    Cheap and effective booking tools from 3-party service provides will be soon available and can be integrated in FB pages. See Delta Airlines.

    DMO’s partnered up with telecommunication service providers to offer travellers an affordable wireless access to use their smart phone on the go.

    Apps will help people to accomplish their tasks more effectively. Devices won’t matter. Apps do.

     
  11. Filip Hollqvist

    Say you’re in an unfamiliar place scouting for a nearby restaurant. With iPhone, you can pinpoint your place on the map so you can figure out how to get there from where you are. iPhone 4 finds your location quickly and accurately using a combination of GPS, Wi-Fi, and mobile towers. As you move, iPhone renew your location automatically.

     
  12. Marc-Oliver Gern

    Yes – it will be an awesome year!

    Check out what we did for the Yukon Tourism: The next mobile experience called iQueue:
    http://marcoliver.tumblr.com/post/821367552/iqueue-global-queuing-network

     
  13. Who will make money from mobile in travel and how will they do it? | Tnooz

    [...] saw a number of travel industry predictions for 2010 about how 2010 would see data play a much more important role in travel — the above example is one [...]

     
  14. The Week in Travel Tech - January 24 to January 30 2010 | Tnooz

    [...] Tnooz predictions for 2010 – the biggest and best list in travel tech [...]

     
  15. Android For Desktops? I Doubt It | AboutAndroid.info

    [...] Tnooz predictions for 2010 – the biggest and best list in travel … [...]

     
  16. Pros & Cons of the Google Nexus One As An Enterprise Phone | AboutGadgets.info

    [...] Tnooz predictions for 2010 – the biggest and best list in travel … [...]

     
  17. Google talks up Android: open ecosystems lead to innovation | AboutAndroid.info

    [...] Tnooz predictions for 2010 – the biggest and best list in travel … [...]

     
  18. The Week in Travel Tech - January 3 to January 9 2010 | Tnooz

    [...] Tnooz predictions for 2010 – the biggest and best list in travel tech [...]

     
  19. The Week in Travel Tech - December 27 2009 to January 2 2010 | Tnooz

    [...] Tnooz predictions for 2010 – the biggest and best list in travel tech [...]

     
  20. Travel Executive Crystal Balls Part 5: Andy Owen-Jones, Ben Jackson and Al Lenza | Tnooz

    [...] coincide with the mammoth Tnooz Predictions 2010 article, Tnooz asked people around the industry to gaze into their own crystal balls to forecast [...]

     
  21. Travel Executive Crystal Balls Part 4: Ignacio Martos, Tim Russell and Bob Atkinson | Tnooz

    [...] coincide with the mammoth Tnooz Predictions 2010 article, Tnooz asked people around the industry to gaze into their own crystal balls to forecast [...]

     
  22. Travel Executive Crystal Balls Part 3: Rock Blanco and Cornerstone | Tnooz

    [...] coincide with the mammoth Tnooz Predictions 2010 article, Tnooz asked people around the industry to gaze into their own crystal balls to forecast [...]

     
  23. Travel Executive Crystal Balls Part 2: Barry Smith and Chris Carmichael | Tnooz

    [...] coincide with the mammoth Tnooz Predictions 2010 article, Tnooz asked people around the industry to gaze into their own crystal balls to forecast [...]

     
  24. Travel Executive Crystal Balls Part 1: Bob Diener and Jim Davidson | Tnooz

    [...] coincide with the mammoth Tnooz Predictions 2010 article, Tnooz asked people around the industry to gaze into their own crystal balls to forecast [...]

     
  25. Martin

    I had skimmed this before, but have just come back and read it in detail after writing my own 5 predictions for 2010. Looks like I’m echoing a similar theme in part to Charlie on social media for customer service, and Tim Hughes on the importance of data. And Troy, I found your comments on mobile interesting, but I think mobile will overtake ancillary revenue as the hot conference topic for 2010 that is guaranteed to pull in the crowds.

     
  26. The Week in Travel Tech - December 20 to 26 2009 | Tnooz

    [...] Tnooz predictions for 2010 – the biggest and best list in travel tech [...]

     
  27. Philip Caines

    This is a great list, thanks to all for making it happen.

    My predictions are also in the mobile travel space. I think Sam has the right idea that it is too difficult to purchase larger products through mobile, however this is changing. 2 of the top 10 grossing iPhone apps are at $70, and there are many others that are generating revenues over the $100 mark per app.

    My prediction is that we will see a location aware, segmented deal alert, entertainment/shopping app that utilizes Swoopo (raised $10m last June)type bidding technology. This would give the consumer the incentive to constantly use the app, a low initial cost, it would be updated frequently and available all the time via mobile. I assume that this will start in consumer wares and then evolve over to travel / vacations.

    My 2 cents ;)

    Phil

     
  28. The Week in Travel Tech - December 13 to 19 2009 | Tnooz

    [...] Tnooz predictions for 2010 – the biggest and best list in travel tech [...]

     
  29. Stuart McDonald

    Great roundup.

    Agree with the general shift to mobile, though I think until the problem of mega-roaming bills is dealt with (two people I know had bills of A$4,500 and $12,000 for stays of under two weeks in Indonesia and New Zealand respectively), downloadable/packaged apps that do not require web connectivity are a more cost effective approach for the end user.

    Agree with iPhone for consumers, Blackberry for business. Android has terrific potential but if it fragments (as some pundits are suggesting) then development costs will blow out — how will they be recouped?

    Likewise the outlets (iTunes/Android market) need an approach of how to deal with low priced trash: see Molinker on iTunes as a great example — good riddance to 1,000 rubbish apps … and 1% of the appstore’s total inventory. Yet Android store is not going to have any moderation — just pay $25 and you’re in. Be interesting to see how that pans out!

    Away from mobile, what is the GoogleBorg going to do? They could expand (and begin to index) their existing listings off GMaps — this would be very problematic for something like Yelp, or even, if G really ran with it TA.

    Twitter getting more into the UGC stream, though it needs far better filtering (by location/topic/intent) before it would really become useful from a user’s perspective (one that is browsing rather than asking).

    Should be a good year — always interesting!

     
  30. Peggy Lee

    Mobile Media and location-based travel apps will be the biggest consumer facing trend in 2010. Look for partnerships between wireless providers, hardware providers and large travel sites in mobile commerce applications. Niche-focused apps will dominate. Mobile Travel Apps for air travel, without real time flight data will no longer be acceptable to the consumer.

    I disagree about Google Wave. Just give it time. 2nd half of 2010 it will begin to have a major impact.

     
  31. Steve Sherlock

    synchronising of travel membership/loyalty data between the web site, mobile.site, and app.site will help mobile site usage take off. (so that minimal data entry is required on mobile sites due to pre-filling of all loyalty numbers, preferences and contact details)

    third party sites potentially provide services that integrate loyalty numbers/data into the travel booking paths of suppliers and aggregators, via XML/API apps. (the likes of Tripit could evolve down this track)

     
  32. Sam Daams

    Great list. I’m in full agreement with a lot, not so much with some, and basically disagree with others.

    Agreement:
    * Google Wave a dud (anything that needs explaining is out in today’s day and age).
    * With Troy in that we’ll still be predicting mobile at the end of 2010; got a great laugh out of that one actually. It’s not that mobile doesn’t have a place in travel, it already does. It’s just that booking via mobile is still too tricky. Maybe Kayak will address this or some other great payments method will arise, but until then I’m not holding my breath. Furthermore, if you were a young developer sitting in your room trying to decide what to develop over the next few months to make it big, would you really look at travel when clearly GAMES are where all the money is being made on both Facebook and mobiles. There’s too much low hanging fruit in other places to consider travel. Ditto for small investors looking to put up 50-100K on make or break experiments. Launch a game for 30 or 40k, see if it catches on and 3 months later, retire or close it down. In travel, the first certainly is not very likely…. ;)
    * Martin’s location, location, location. We’ve only just scratched the tip of the iceberg on this.
    * The C-spot. This is at the heart of a few of the points above, and I see no way around this.

    Hope so list:
    * China, that way we can dust off those Chinese sites we launched at the beginning of 09 :)
    * Gene’s “travel guides as ebooks”, for obvious self-interests.

    Don’t agree with:
    * Google will launch a phone that can compete with the iPhone. I just don’t believe anything coming from Google could ever come anywhere near. The iPhone is not about functionality, it’s about the entire experience. Google would need to radically change their hiring policy to compete. Additionally, whilst I hope I’m proven wrong on this (see next point), I do hope the Android starts seeing an uptick in app development. Unfortunately, the fact that apps can only sell in 5 countries where Google Merchant Checkout Accounts exist (yes, that’s right, 5!!) is pretty much a guarantee that’s not going to happen anytime soon. Actually, this last point pretty much proves my point about Google not understanding the ‘entire experience’.
    * More downloadable apps vs web apps. Most developers don’t realize the amazing opportunities offered by the web apps on for example the iPhone. If you are developing a free app, and your app doesn’t require location as a major feature, a web app can actually do pretty much *everything* a downloadable one can (check out this article from yesterday for example: http://daringfireball.net/2009/12/pastrykit ). It also has some huge benefits, like being able to work on Android phones, Blackberries and, lest we forget, Nokia’s, LG, Sony Ericsson etc. There’s a couple of other benefits, but no one seems to be seeing them, so I’m certainly not going to give them away ;)

    As I guess is the same for the nodes above, one gravitates towards the sides of the industry one is most active in, so I don’t feel qualified to make comments on any of the others.

     
  33. RobertKCole

    I’ll throw in a few more in three general categories.

    1) Search (SEO & SEM) gets much more tricky as: results pages become highly personalized; real-time results reward recency over saliency; search engines internally consolidating & organizing data will begin the transition from a “Web of Documents” to a “Web of Data”; and social network search tools provide highly granular ad targeting capabilities to enable highly relevant offers & promotions.

    2) Travel Suppliers get creative to increase margins and create consumer value. OTAs will continue to squeeze travel suppliers for deeper merchant program discounts while maintaining pricing parity under best price guarantees. In response, travel suppliers will again start to work more closely with other suppliers on cross-sell promotions to a) protect retail pricing structures, b) capture improved margins on both internal and ancillary sales, and c) improve consumer value with compelling bundled or conditional pricing offers.

    3) Unable to reduce capacity like air carriers & car rental companies, the US hotel industry will struggle to find a path to recovery because a) business travel will not rebound as organizations discover a “new normal” after eliminating non-essential corporate and group travel and b) loan defaults & distressed real estate sales will continue to keep downward pressure on room rates. The double whammy of 2009′s 35% decline in US hotel unit Net Operating Profit (expected to fall another 5% in 2010) and 13.5% of CMBS US hotel debt currently categorized as non-performing (it was only 4.3% in June 2009) will find distressed hotel inventory the “new normal.”

     
  34. uberVU - social comments

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by kevinlukemay: Tnooz predictions for 2010 – the biggest and best list in travel tech http://bit.ly/6IEv84

     
  35. Tweets that mention Tnooz predictions for 2010 - the biggest and best list in travel tech | Tnooz -- Topsy.com

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tiara Hotels Resorts, Kevin May. Kevin May said: Tnooz predictions for 2010 – the biggest and best list in travel tech http://bit.ly/6IEv84 [...]

     
 
 

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