Much has happened in 2010: Airlines such as AA have started pulling their content off the GDSs to foster their own direct connections, Google has acquired ITA and mobile apps were omnipresent, just to mention a few things. Now, with less than two weeks left in this year, Tnooz has asked industry experts what they believe will be the major travel industry trends in 2011. And they made some very interesting predictions.
The following is a list of the most remarkable predictions and their implications:
Google-ITA deal goes through
Although there is much opposition against this acquisition, especially by Fairsearch, many experts predict that this deal will go through. It’s definitely going to be interesting to see how things develop, if this prediction turns out to be right.
Bing and Facebook on another level
Facebook and social media in general will be playing an important role in travel in 2011. The ability to gain personal data about their users and thus provide personalized offers is what makes social media so attractive to travel companies. That’s why it is very likely that travel companies will invest heavily in these new channels. Bing, Microsoft’s search engine, also has good chances to become a serious competitor in travel. Not only has Bing established a partnership with Facebook, but it also already has highly developed travel services. So, after Google, Microsoft is going to become the second internet giant playing an important role in 2011. And maybe even Apple will enter the market with its iTravel.
China is the place
With over 1.3 billion people China is the most populous country in the world. And with its growing economy and a new upcoming middle-class, both demand for business and leisure travel will increase. Therefore, travel companies should develop specific strategies to participate in China’s growth.
Rise of the tablets
When Apple introduced its iPad, many people didn’t believe it would be a success. As we know now, they were wrong. Tablets enjoy great popularity and some experts predict that they will have a big influence on the travel experience. So companies will develop tablet-specific apps that make use of the larger surface tablet. These apps could then include video, gaming, social media and booking. The possibilities seem endless and maybe tablet apps will be the next big thing in mobile travelling. Either way technology providers should be prepared.
It is important to anticipate future developments to stay competitive. Travel companies should prepare for the upcoming challenges and try to be always one step ahead of the new trends. I believe, especially the internet giants Google, Microsoft and Apple along with the increasing number of mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, will bring a whole new level of competition into our industry.
We’ll see how things turn out in the next months. But for now, we wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Image by Policas