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.