says this eMarketer study covered in : Travel Industry Wire:
The results are a reflection of the influence web 2.0 is having on how travel is researched, planned and purchased. The combination of websites with word of mouth – or “word of mouse” will drive further change in the industry.
It is not so much the new meta-search entrants that are threatening the OTA’s but the suppliers themselves. They have taken back control over their product distribution and become more aggressive direct sellers. OTAs are intermediaries and as such have to provide added value to the transaction.
This is the only way out of the commodity trap that total price focus leads to. They need to embrace web 2.0 tools to pre-empt new niche start-ups from taking business away from them. Combined with their well recognized brands and product inventory access this should keep them in the lead as formidable competitors.