The experience of buying travel online is certainly not what it could or should be in about the tenth year of the web as a commercial tool. Of course, it’s easy to buy a single destination trip to a place that you already know and you can do that by going to an online travel agency or supplier site. If you’re looking for the lowest component price you can use one of the meta-searchers.
Now, if you’re in the market for a multi-destination trip using different modes of transport and don’t have clear idea of the destination, you’re in for a disappointment and a time consuming planning and buying experience on a whole number of different sites that all give you a part of the whole, but not the whole picture. We are as far away from true, customer-centric one stop shopping as we ever were.
Despite all the talk of dynamic packaging, there are no sites with a semblance of market recognition that are offering what I alluded to above. Global, one stop shopping for complex vacation trips.
What will it take for some innovative technology company to enter the market, or for the existing players to develop this technology to make it happen? Most likely the focus has to switch from distribution and product focus to customer focus. This has not happend so far.
We’re still in the product pushing phase of the business, with some refinements and superficial consideration of customer requirements, but still far away from a true customer centric model.