Tnooz Predictions 2013 – The biggest and best list in travel technology

As the Christmas and New Year break approaches, it’s time for the annual list of predictions from the Tnooz team and contributing Nodes as we ponder where travel tech will take us in 2013.

This is the fourth outing for the Tnooz Predictions and we’re the first to admit that while some of our previous efforts played out pretty much as expected, we are, of course, not modern day, digital forms of Nostradamus and get it wrong or are simply too eager (Apple iTravel is an obvious one!).

So, feel free to check our predictions for 2010, 2011 and 2012 and enjoy the latest round of crystal ball gazing (no navels were harmed in the making of the gaze-fest).

Finally, thanks as always to the team and the Nodes for their efforts with the predictions and their brilliant contributions throughout the year. What a great bunch of folk they are.



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Alex Bainbridge (TourCMS)

1. Mobile only startups are going to be caught up by existing companies launching mobile services

In 2013 incumbents with large customer bases and existing supplier relationships will begin to claw back the advantage currently enjoyed by early movers – for example, when this year launched Tonight to take on the threat of Hotel Tonight.

To combat this move entrepreneurs need to think more about getting to big scale quickly and less about novel innovations. Would probably help too if conference organisers stopped highlighting innovation as a worthy objective for entrepreneurs to aspire to as it fatally adjusts perspectives of entrepreneurial success.

2) Big battle about who owns the customer ahead

If a customer is at an airport – who should be interacting with them (e.g. on a mobile device) – should it be the airport or the airline? What about when they arrive in destination – should it be the DMO? The airline that flew them there? The OTA that sold the flight? The hotel they are staying at?

2013 will see this battle commence as companies begin to build web / mobile services away from their core in order to build deeper customer relationships around the entire travel experience, not just their part of it.

Alex Kremer (FlexTrip)

1. Tours and activities heats up even more

After several big announcements in the fall of this year, the burgeoning tours and activities sector will heat up even more in 2013.

Expect to see big funding rounds, consolidations, and acquisitions – from players you wouldn’t expect. Will the booking numbers match the hype? Watch this space in 2013.

2. Mobile explodes

With the continued proliferation of smartphones and other mobile devices (especially in Asia), expect a non-mobile only brand to announce more than 50% of their bookings coming from mobile devices in 2013.

Additional new models based on the always-connected traveler (a la Hotel Tonight) will emerge and attract immediate clones.

Claude Benard (HoteliTour)

1. China is the key player to the travel mix

As I said in 2010 and 2011, and 2012, Chinese travel market is becoming one of the main travel market, both outbound and inbound. Chinese travelers are seeking true individual experience and look for travel discoveries off the beaten track.

To capture this lucrative market, a digital strategy and smart offline marketing will be needed. Both B2C and B2B strategies with leading Chinese travel agencies is a key to catching this market.

Travel companies serious about China also need to have partnerships and integrate on the technology side with existing in-destination companies to make workflow more efficient.

2. DMOs need to change or they will disappear from the travel ecosystem

We live in a European crisis where public money is hard to come by for DMOs and will probably be a continuing global trend for years to come. Unfortunately DMOs are not agile and adaptable enough in their structure to be reactive in this market.

Some DMOs have dinosaur-esque information systems which are simply not suitable to win tourists in an ultra-competitive travel market. And, in fact, do the travel industry need DMOs to create business? So, if DMOs do not change their behavior and business process, they will be out of the travel game.

Daniele Beccari

1. Social meltdown (or the return of privacy)

With Facebook reaching a high point in user growth and under fire for a variety of reasons, alternative networks will emerge and will capture more audience – closed networks, social TVs, mobile networks and social sharing platforms.

Facebook will remain in place as the best ever single sign on mechanism, paradoxically facilitating onboarding for everyone else. With signal spreading across multiple networks, users will flock more and more to simple, clear and noise-free sites and apps. Monetization of loyal, captive and targeted audiences will shift accordingly.

2. Acquisitions rollercoaster

With lots of successful startups entering maturity and the economy being what it is, the time is ripe for big players to snatch winners before it’s too late.

Square by Visa (full monty and a rebranding); Pinterest by Facebook; Twitter by Microsoft; LivingSocial by Google; AirBnB by Diller; FourSquare by Yahoo.

Evan Konwiser

1. Google Schmoogle

I said it last year, and I’ll say it again. Google’s travel-search products and content (Frommers, Flight Search, Hotel Finder, et al) will continue to evolve but play a minor / negligible role in the industry at large throughout 2013.

I’ll keep riding this horse until I’m proven wrong by an industry-defining Google travel-product, but I don’t see it happening anytime soon. They just don’t have the ingredients in place (ability, know-how, brand, etc.), or maybe just not the will, to make it happen quite yet.

2. Mobile is multi-player

Come holidays 2013, do not expect HotelTonight to be the only major mobile player in town. I predict one or two more mobile travel products will emerge as early “winners” in the transaction game.

It could be Kayak, if they successfully add in-path transactions in their mobile device. Or perhaps an existing OTA. Or it could be someone yet to emerge.

HotelTonight led the way with transaction-focused UX for mobile and showed the rest of us how you can monetize travel on mobile. But there’s plenty of room for others to emerge, including some dominant mobile players perhaps as yet to be born.

Gene Quinn (Tnooz)

1. Mobile payments and digital wallets go mainstream

As mobile travel applications proliferate, consumer and corporate use of tablets and smartphones push laptops and desktops into the background.

Mobile stored valued apps and other hand-held digital wallet functions (ie. for coffee and food, entertainment, and other small purchases while traveling) edge closer to replacing digging for cash in pockets and purses.

Loyalty program opportunities for apps abound for airlines, hotels, car rental, food chains and more. There is less distinction between home and traveling use of your smart handheld to do commercial things.

2. Big strides in natural language search and voice recognition

Natural language search and voice recognition are each knotty problems. Travel inspiration while shopping and management of the endless and ever-changing details of your trip are both big market opportunities for technology providers.

Google is continually refining its search mechanism, and Expedia has revealed some smart work in natural language search within its own services. Look for more needle-moving developments from both and others. Which mobile platform will best connect the dots through voice recognition?

Glenn Gruber (Ness Technologies)

1. Consumerization of IT accelerates the evolution of business travel apps

The consumerization of IT is a well-known trend, but for the longest time business travelers have had to live in the stone age or go outside of TMC tools to manage their travel plans on the go.

But with the acquisition of Worldmate by Carlson Wagonlit Travel, and in light of Concur’s 2011 acquisition of TripIt, expect other TMCs to accelerate their plans to deliver mobile apps that their customers actually want to use.

2. Apple acquires Foursquare

The struggles of Apple Maps has been well chronicled, highlighting the challenge of building services over hardware for Apple, and contributed at least in part to the firing of Scott Forstall.

Apple needs both better POI data as well as more user data to enhance the accuracy of Maps and Foursquare provides both in spades with 25 million (very) active users and 5 million check-ins per day.

As a side benefit, Foursquare could also enhance Siri. While Foursquare would be a very expensive acquisition, what’s a billion or two to a company with over $120 billion in cash?

Jim Craven (Tnooz)

1. Google lights the fires and kicks the tyres

The pieces of the Google Travel ecosystem have been quietly assembled, from search to maps, to products for flights and hotels, to Google Plus and others, meaning the search giant now touches all aspects of the travel process.

2013 will be the year that Google Travel products gain traction, exposure and integrated relevance, all on its mobile Android platform.

2. Hospitality and rental shake-out

As AirBnB and vacation rental companies gain share against traditional hotels and motels, lodging companies will make a big effort to push back on legislation and local government on taxes, security, health and fire etc.

Josiah Mackenzie (ReviewPro)

1. Social signals will be incorporated into strategic revenue management decisions

Melia Hotels was one of the first hotel groups to pioneer the use of online guest satisfaction indexes in their strategic pricing decisions over the past year.

In the coming year, more and more hotels will optimize RevPAR by using online guest satisfaction reports to focus their internal guest experience improvement activities, and then make smarter strategic distribution decisions.

The opportunity to drive financial performance through improving guest satisfaction was confirmed in a recent study by Cornell University’s Center for Hospitality Research, which demonstrated a link between a hotel’s Global Review Index and RevPAR, occupancy, and average daily rates.

2. Social media and review analytics will play a key role in hotel investment and transactions

Traditionally, the value of a hotel asset was based on the location, the building, and the expectation of future revenue. Today, savvy investors realize that a hotel’s ability to meet or exceed guest satisfaction has a direct and ongoing impact on the expectation for future revenue.

We’re working with more and more hotel investors and transactional advisors as they look to unlock asset value and increase financial returns.

Kevin May (Tnooz)

1. Everyone else catching up

It won’t be an apocalypse, but startups will no longer have the monopoly on the supposed funky and innovative ideas in travel as larger players realise that there is a lot to be gained from unleashing their own developers (and creativity) on R&D.

Or, (massively increased level of) acquiring or funding startups of interest.

Everyone wins, apparently. Startups without traction but with neat technology get some kind of exit, established brands get some new kit and the brains behind it. While this is nothing new, exits will be needed for many startups in 2013 as the investment funds continue to either dry up or become far fussier than they were, say, two or three years ago.

2. RIP the travel industry’s obsession with fans and followers

It’s taken quite a while but 2013 will see marketing departments finally realise that there’s more to life than desperately seeking attention in social media (cue fewer “how to use social media” seminars and more “how to find value in social media” seminars around the world).

Apart from the occasional (genuine) viral campaign, travel promotions aimed primarily at attracting more people to like a Facebook page or follow a Twitter account are largely ineffective.

Travel companies will move toward making use of the fans they already have through more discounting, clever CRM and competitions.  A by-product of this will be increased collaboration (merging, even) of the customer service/PR and marketing disciplines in consumer-facing brands.

Linda Fox (Tnooz)

1. Google eyes other parts of the trip

Google has spent much of 2012 reaching further into airlines and hotels to the extent that distribution conversations no longer take place without mention (positive or negative) of the G word.

Its moves are, err, undoubtedly improving the user search experience while also finding new ways of increasing its revenue from the travel vertical. So, where next? It has got to be tours and activities. Expedia has already stated its intentions in that direction and Airbnb could be next.

2. Startup life will not be pretty

The end is nigh for many travel startups, even some of the funded ones. There has been a lot of “me too” during 2012 and it’s unsustainable in an industry which is tight on margins and finding it difficult to lift itself out of the crisis.

2013 will not be pretty and what innovation we see is likely to come in the mobile space and perhaps from those with B2B business models.

Martin Collings (Mastercard)

1. Car parking enters the travel technology mainstream

If taxi apps were the surprise trend of 2012 that bought the previously largely ignored topic of technology in the ground transport sector to the forefront of travel tech consciousness, there is a compelling case as to why the car parking industry could well be the surprise topic in 2013.

The recent 13th Australian Parking Convention in Sydney saw a surprisingly high number of vendors setting up stands displaying online reservation systems and mobile apps aimed at car park operators, but the maturity of this sector is embryonic when compared to current airline reservation systems or the online booking engines and mobile apps of online travel agencies.

And topics like revenue management are seeing cautious toes dipped into a pond that airlines have been up their necks in for well over ten years – or in the case of American, closer to 30 years.

Aer Lingus integrating Dublin Airport car park availability into their booking flow in an integrated manner is something that will become much more common with other airlines and OTAs in 2013, but the opportunity for the car parking industry from technology adoption is much much bigger than this one isolated example.

2. Airports get much more serious about mobile

Airports have the unenviable challenge of being last in line in the quest to “own the passenger”. It seems like every other player in travel knows about the passenger’s journey before the airport finds out, yet airports around the world have tried to develop mobile apps in their quest to compete with the site that made the booking, the airline being flown and virtually every other company taking up a segment line in a PNR that thinks it is they that “own” the customer.

Just as the best airports globally have significantly increased profits by reworking the retail model, airports at the forefront of technology will realize that the real gains are to be had not in duplicating services offered by others.

Profitable innovation will come from adding value to passengers through an omni-channel checkout-bypass and pre-ordering retail experience, adding value to airlines through lower cost models of compensation vouchers, adding value to retailers by, for example, turning the duty free model upside down and moving the purchase decision closer to the gate, and adding value to advertisers by making better use of traveller downtime though increased advertising engagement.

All of these opportunities are ripe for airports in mobile, and they are areas where other travel industry participants are not the natural owners. That said, airports may yet see others execute better in 2013 and steal what should have been theirs to own.

Nick Vivion (Tnooz)

For Nick’s predictions, and a round-up of predictions for 2013 from travel industry executives, please click over to “More on 2013: Seamless integration, share-of-wallet and the single truth.”

Patrick Landman (Xotels)

Hotel distribution takes a series of twists and turns

In 2013 hotels will be confronted by the shortcomings of rate parity strategies. The official launch of Google Hotel Finder shows how OTA powerhouses play with VAT and service charges to have rates just a euro, pound or dollar cheaper than on the hotel website.

As a result, hotel websites will be pushed down on the Google Hotel Finder price advertising display, and eventually not show at all.

So, hotels will lose out on significant direct sales if they do not monitor, manage and control this. There is only one thing hotels can do. Slap the OTAs on the hands, and if they refuse to comply, give them a taste of their own medicine, break parity and raise the price for them.

Make them feel it if they do not listen! 2013 will be the year of the Google Hotel Finder war games.

Sarah Kennedy Ellis (Sabre)

1. Bringin’ startup sexy back

Since Hipmunk rushed onto the travel tech startup scene in late 2010 (bringing with it a rush of new energy and hope into the travel industry for the many disruptions yet to come), we’ve been left feeling like a youth group who witnessed a revival at a one-week summer camp and hasn’t found that same feeling again since the day camp ended.

The last few years have given us little more – with a just a few exceptions – than round after round of lackluster travel startups filled mostly with those either trying to solve problems that didn’t really exist, or those solving real problems with mediocre execution.

The recent surge of corporate venture funds from the likes of Priceline and many others means smarter money is beginning to flow into the next round of disruptive entrepreneurial thinking across multiple parts of the travel ecosystem.

Thus, the foundation has been laid for us to finally walk away from the 2013 PhoCusWright Innovation Summit with that “Holy hell, that was impressive” feeling of hope for our industry’s future we once caught a glimpse of many startup moons ago.

2. Bio-metrics get electric

As companies like CLEAR continue to pick up steam growing the popularity of models that involve travelers paying a fee to hand over data in exchange for increased convenience, 2013 will bring the bio-metric data debate to the forefront related to private sector vs. government access and management of this data and, even more interestingly, investor focus on companies focusing on this challenge in travel.

As travel companies that focus on capturing & aggregating incredibly personal data about some of the most frequent, and thus arguably valuable travelers on the planet, get greater visibility next year, new opportunities for those in control of the data to secure creative partnerships will emerge providing incremental value to travelers on the other side of security by increasingly personalizing their experience.

This will all also result in a likely increase in acquisition activity of those companies in 2013 and beyond focused on aggregating unique traveler data such as bio-metrics, traveler step-by-step behavior, in-transit purchase data and more.

Sean O’Neill (Tnooz)

1. Expect venture capitalists to crush on enterprise businesses

Kiss goodbye to the boom in B2C travel startups. Say hello to investors trumpeting B2B startups that tout clear paths to profit, such as the ones General Catalyst has invested in already.

But, before you can say “bubble”, valuations for B2B startups will inflate to absurd levels. The reason? Too many over-confident investors will try to ride the bubble for short-term profit, given the lack of other investment options due to the current global turbulence.

Investors should be especially wary of the startups that claim to be consumer/enterprise hybrids, re-skinning B2Cs as B2Bs. Pivots are difficult to execute. In the meantime, go to the parties and drink as much of the free Champagne as you can.

2. The Facebook-TripAdvisor deal?

Social media companies, like the rich, protect their own, and an acquisition by Facebook of the most Facebook-ified of travel websites, TripAdvisor, seems plausible. In 2013, Facebook will be sitting on a lot of cash and its executive team will feel pressure to make a large purchase to meet its projected top- and bottom- line numbers for ad sales by providing more inventory and deeper data on user purchasing habits.

TripAdvisor has already done as much as possible to integrate with Facebook, such as with its TripFriends tool and its frictionless sharing app on Facebook. Surveys show that one of the leading “life events” that people like to talk about on Facebook is travel, and a person’s choice of travel destination can reveal a lot of demographic information about them, the same way a user’s Instagram photos can be a goldmine for marketers who can use it to infer other demographic characteristics to sell better targeted advertisements.

Stephen Joyce (Rezgo)

1. SoLoMo in activites will be all the rage

Thanks to advancements in distribution and connectivity of activity and excursion providers, we will see new mobile apps coming on stream that combine location and date context with social recommendations and the ability to book in real-time.

Expect this to be spearheaded by an OTA or large aggregator. Could a mobile app focused on experiences be as popular as a Hotel Tonight?

2. P2P activity marketplaces will fade away

After the initial flourish of new P2P activity marketplaces thanks to the release of the PhoCusWright report in 2011, expect to see many of these marketplaces start to shutdown or get acquired.

P2P activities, unlike P2P accommodations require hosts to trade their time and experience for cash rather than just an unused asset like a spare room.

Scale and consumer traction are the two biggest issues resulting in the decline.

Timothy O’Neil-Dunne (T2Impact)

1. It is the purchase path not the sale

I believe that the line between the process of purchase and the traditional moment of contract/sale will become unbundled and blurred. Priceline through its purchase of Kayak already laid down the gauntlet to the traditional OTAs.

Many players will emerge who don’t want to care about taking the money. Suppliers will want the actual “BUY” button to be on their site(s).

This is going to be a subtle and long term trend. Look too for electronic wallets to impact the process of purchase. Scary for traditional OTAs and risk for Expedia et al.

2. Boomers exit and are not as important to the world of travel as they used to be

This is so self evident that it will have some impact across the spectrum of travel. Corporate travel is seeing a new pragmatism emerge with travelers disobeying corporate edits in favor of budget value.

Leisure travel is more adventurous and less conformative. Service providers are wrestling with the demands of a totally different traveling public. The replacement millenials are a different breed. Not addressing them is a crime.

Valyn Perini (OpenTravel Alliance)

1. Startup offerings specific to the travel industry will mature, and not a second too soon

We’ve been inundated with travel-specific inspiration and sharing sites, P2P activity sites, and seemingly endless sites that capitalize on supposedly under-socialized travelers.

We’ll see more sites and apps that solve true business problems (and could actually make money), not just scratch some annoying travel planning itch, and that aren’t the nTH solution-to-market.

The initiatives started by Concur and Priceline to fund startups won’t be the last, and will bring some welcome shape and rigor to the market.

2. Re-thinking data and connections

XML as a connectivity language in the travel industry will mature from message centric to data centric, utilizing data models to generate lightweight and functionally specific message structures that make interoperability easier, cheaper and faster.

Boring? Hardly. Putting function (data) before form (message) supports consumer-centric business models, enabling easier integration management of profile, loyalty and historical information into the travel experience. Data model driven messaging will also support APIs, which are the foundation of direct connect.

The right data model supports not only XML but other modern messaging options like JSON, bringing the travel industry into the 21st century (finally).

NB: Predictions 2013 and Facebook grab images via Shutterstock.

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Kevin May

About the Writer :: Kevin May

Kevin May was a co-founder and member of the editorial team from September 2009 to June 2017.



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  1. Karan Labra

    Alex’s prediction that mobile user base would explode has certainly been one of those that was spot on!

  2. Andy

    Since AirBnB and similar companies continue to gain leverage against traditional lodging companies like you noted, we’re interested in further integrating our service with the like. At Ajax ( we provide shuttle and parking services, but want to capitalize on your correct prediction of AirBnB popularity.

  3. Steve Broin

    As a former graphic designer (now small hotel owner), we had a rule in copy editing: the first use of an abbreviation (in your case DMO, OTA, TMC, B2B, B2C, P2P, etc) was always followed by an explanation so that communication with new readers unfamiliar with jargon is not impeded.

  4. Kirill Sermyagin

    Great article, thanks a lot!
    I agree with Alex – torus and activities will be one of the fastest growing travel market in 2013.
    Stephen – I agree about main reason for P2P marketplaces for tours&activities to be fail… but we successfully solved these problems in Excursiopedia – we already have more than 7500 offers from 3000 providers worldwide and we still fastest growing P2P marketplace on market.

    • Murray Harrold

      Had a look at Excursiopedia – it is really rather good. And for once, covers a neglected area and offers real opportunities for ancillary revenue – and even commission. Dare I say, quite innovative. The big tour operators must hate it 🙂

      How come we agents have never heard of it? Don’t recall seeing it mentioned in any trade magazine or forum.

      Good stuff. But it is no good just having a good product, if you don’t tell us about it!

      • Kirill Sermyagin

        Murray, thanks a lot for nice feedback!
        Yes, we just start to promote Excursiopedia for customers and our traffic and booking increase rapidly. Hope we really will be in most of magazines and forums soon:-)

        Happy New Year and all the best for you and your family and friends!

        • Bojan

          Hi Kirill,

          Who do you see as your competition? Cheers.

    • Ankit Bhargava

      Great Job Kirill

      Had been planning for long to develop something like this for India. Technology and time constraints 🙁

      What are your plans for India?


  5. Murray Harrold

    Not too sure about what will happen, but here is what ought to happen:

    Innovation – realise that innovation is not the same as variation. There has been very little – if any – innovation in travel. There has been a lot of variation, though much of that variation has merely resulted in a lot of hacked off customers, more confused customers, and even more totally bewildered customers. This all helps me as an agent, of course, as most eventually wind up coming to agents to untangle the mess.

    Tours, trips and taxis. A lot more could be done in this area, granted. I do not think it will, even though it cries out for consolidation and presentation in easy to use portions. There are a number of reasons for this, though the main ones are that most of this sector is full of small, many one man band type organisations who do not have the money or time to get too involved unless someone comes up with a sure fire way of producing a lot of profit very quickly. Note the use of the word profit, not turnonver. No-one is going to build systems for an industry sector that cannot afford to buy them. Secondly, (following on from this) there are no nice, comfortable, easy to access API’s for the data. Anyone wishing to work in this sector would have to put in a lot of legwork. Techy’s don’t like that sort of hard graft.

    Money. Will be a problem. Many new startups are not opening new markets, they are merely shifting the present numbers around. Travel in the Western World is a very mature product, it’s difficult to incremental business. The Far East offers growth opportunities but, I would venture, knowing that neck of the woods, they will probably wish to make sure any new ventures stay with them. It will be difficult for a purely Western startup to make inroads into this vast market.

    The Elephant in the Room. Is still that any venture tends to focus on answering a question. It does not focus on making sure it has the right question in the first place. Even then, that what the client thinks they want and what they may actually need are still two different things.

    Social media. Fine. This will grow and mature. Any pundit making predictions about social media are invariably wrong. I do not know of any pundit who predicted, correctly, how important and powerful social media would become. The thing for 2013 will be simply “flexibility” – that is, to watch what happens with social media, not to try and forsee what may happen, but to be in a position to respond very quickly when a trend starts to appear… and be ready to change again, when it falls away. Above all, be there and remember that the clue is in the title: “Social” media … not dictating media.

    I believe the same will happen with big data and “who owns the customer”. Although many go on about who owns the client and the data about that client, one person is getting forgotten – the client. The client owns the client and the client owns their data. We have started to see that people are waking up to their just being too much data about “them” available in the big wide world. There could well be a retrenchment, a reaction by people about their information. Worse, they could say “You can have my data, but I want paying for it” Legislation may be brought in to curb the use of data, people may react against having so much information stored about them. If I buy a frilly bit of naughty stuff for the mem’sahib in a shop, then that transaction is open and closed (unless I have a loyalty card). Online – do I really want to receive non-stop emails offering me naughty nighties? I think not. Even loyalty cards could be curtailed. If a supermarket want my custom, I do not mind being offered $10 off next time I visit… but I may well object, that, because I made a one off purchase once, I get a coupon for $10 off frilly nighties. My prediction: That clients want their identity back.

    Back to basics for Airlines. We had unbundling, now we have re-bundling. We also had some rather silly people talking about how much airlines had made on “ancillaries”. Rubbish. “Ancillaries” are how much much an airline made on selling hotels, car hire, insurance, trips etc. Not on taking the fare apart.
    So, we have re-bundling aka “the fare”. American Airlines have three options, now. It’s a bit of a no-brainer which one to take. Thing is, one may well need a travel agent to explain why it’s a no-brainer.

    Airbnb type operations. Yes. I have a lot of time for these. Any startup needs to gain traction, of course, but the idea is sound. It is also highly dangerous and very vulnerable. Sooner or later, the ” (name of accom. company) murders” (I hope and pray it does not happen, of course) headline will appear and then people will start looking. Hang on … there is this outfit offering rooms in this chaps house? No-one did a CRB check? No-one knew he/ she was on probation? In an age when we talk about “stranger danger” you are going to risk taking a room in a person’s house, who you do not know from Adam … and sleep there? Yeah. Right. Okay, maybe a bit extreme, but I think people understand where I am coming from. Thing is, a lot of money and a reputation can be lost overnight.

    With regards to Google etc coming into travel, I have dealt with elsewhere on TNOOZ.

    Happy New Year, everyone!

  6. Ryan C Haynes

    Good to see the mix of thoughts for 2013, rather than what businesses are bringing out, I am much more keen to know how consumer trends will actually change.

    But in regards to the above
    Alex – Innovation: Too right, there’s too much expectation for innovation, that is perceived as a totally new concept, or new way of doing things. Instead, after too much innovation I think ‘change’ is key and how to meet people’s expectations.

    Claude – DMOs: My experience of dealing with DMOs, especially in the USA, is that they are slow and tired organisations. They cannot keep up with the way new business works, and this too goes for many industry associations. Both are great for facilitating discussion and partnerships, but if they don’t keep up they will struggle to be part of the mix.

    Kevin – Value in social media: Absolutely, proof of the value of social media activity needs to come out. As a PR specialist I see it no more than a bit of profile building and CRM, it’s a long-term effort with little financial gain.

    Valyn – XML: we’ll definitely see maturation and sophistication on this level as businesses realise they cannot continue to support html, and that business partnerships are key – and here we will see more cooperation and partnerships in the industry.

    Start-ups & investment: It’s interesting to see how much money is being pumped into new and existing businesses with little care of revenue, profit and long-term success. I’ve been fortunate to work with a business that has been self-reliant on revenue and profit surrounded by competitors that need to enter investment rounds for growth and development – but what is the sustainability of this? 2013 is the 5th year since the start of the recession – are investors really going to keep hoping? or want to see proof in the pudding?

  7. Fritz

    I expect a very interesting impact of expanded schemantic markup of webpages: GoodRelations has now been added on to and will give the chance to make limited deals (time-constrained/availability) effortlessly readable for every search engines.

    How knows: maybe RichSnippets in Search Results will soon be displayed as “only 3 rooms for special weekend rate available” next to the hotel/OTA result – combine that with local search and it might become another gamebreaker where everyone could offer their deals directly in the search results (if Google & Co play along…)

  8. Richard Collins

    Kevin, glad to see you highlighting the end of the hype around Facebook pages “RIP the travel industry’s obsession with fans and followers”. Also agree about leveraging existing followers, however I think that we can go further than that and will see brands building communities to turn social media into an effective sales/distribution channel for the travel industry.

    Richard Collins
    Managing Partner
    Blink Communications

  9. Greg Abbott

    Mobile mentioned 32 times but I am surprised at the lack of any mention of trends or predictions (at least in N. America) around growth/opportunity for mobile advertising in 2013? Is that just not on the radar for travel companies in ’13?
    Great stuff as usual, thanks Nodes!!
    (PS: the absence of any mayan reference is refreshing!)

    • Kevin May

      Kevin May

      @GREG – I suspect it is on the horizon, but not to the extent that it’s a needle-moving development in the industry.

      at least in the minds of our contributors.

      anyway, in case you’re missing the Maya stuff:

    • Glenn Gruber

      Greg, sorry for the late reply on this comment.

      But as it relates to mobile advertising I’m not sure how strong the opportunity is. Clearly the mobile internet is where a lot of traffic is going, but in terms of ad formats, click through rates and related rates, no one has really done a good job there. In most of the data I have seen the click-through rates and ad rates on mobile lag what happens on the desktop web. This has caused many to be worried/cautious about the future for those who make most of their money in an ad supported format (Google of course being the poster-child). In fact for Google, mobile is kind of a drag on ad revenue growth. Even though mobile ad spend is increasing in raw dollars, you can’t interpret that to mean that mobile is accretive. Right not it’s not. So I for one am not really bullish on mobile advertising having a huge positive impact in 2013.

  10. Robert Gilmour

    Are we getting a debrief on the 2012 predictions?


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