YPBR publishes useful research on travel patterns and buying habits of Americans and it’s reassuring for the industry to see that demand for vacations is strong. In terms of how the web is used for travel planning an purchasing, it seems to me the speaker is basing his comments on today and yesterday instead of on what will happen tomorrow.
He correctly states that travelers have learned that the web increasingly lets them to individualize their leisure trip. At the same time the frustration level is high. This is mainly caused by the fact that many of today’s websites are not built to offer a high level of personalization but focus on lowest price offers.
In Travel 2.0, with metasearch and the influence of social networking, more and more sites are allowing travelers to provide their personal feedback easily accessible to others and this information becomes a key tool useful in their own travel planning and personalization.
These developments, and they are coming on fast and in all age groups, will present a new challenge to any intermediary as many suppliers are already in a strong position to leverage their own web presence and tap into the conversation. The latest Sheraton site is only one of many more to tap into this trend.