Some of the questions raised by Rich Karlgaard in this post have obvious implications also on the travel industry.
We’ve seen last year’s focus on the metasearch companies which have
caused quite a stir in the market and disrupted the existing
relationships between agencies and suppliers.
Their growth has re-inforced the already strong consumer and media
perception that online travel is all about getting the cheapest price, rather than the place where great value travel offers can easily be purchased.
In the next wave, the companies impacted the most, might well be the
traditional tour operators whose role as aggregators of services,
selling them in pre-packaged bundles will increasingly be challenged as
technology will enable self-packaging of even complex multi-destination
trips and all their elements.
While this might not necessarily result in cheaper packages, they
will correspond more closely to what the customer really "wants" to buy
rathern than "has" to buy. This type of product will also allow the
focus to shif more from purely cheap price to added value.