The one thing that the last 20 years has taught us is that change is the order of each day.
The internet has a powerful hold on the travel and tourism industry since 1998.
First it was Lastminute.com, then Booking.com then Tripadvisor, now Airbnb. They came, they flew and finally they landed, no longer the taste of today.
At their root, the big booking engines depend on big exposure on the internet. And how do they get it? They pay. For instance it is said that Booking holdings paid nearly $4 billion to Google last year. That is a lot of money. It only needs a bit of a a challenge to their earnings and trouble is on the horizon. You may say “Look at how much they’re worth” that is just the moneymen betting on the future - and as soon as emotion changes - phew it’s disappeared. Even Airbnb with their valuation of an amazing $40billion and Booking’s $70billion valuation could both disappear.
And what are the principle needs that they addressed:
As they say “The money is in the future” Tracking and fulfilling public needs has always been a rewarding experience - that’s the way today’s ‘Unicorns’ have been born.
So what will be the holiday needs of tomorrow?
More experience, more safety less cost.
Experiences themselves can include a variety of destination suppliers (eg windsurfing/local meals/cycle trips/excursions), or could be supplied by one customer-oriented resort hotel. From the client’s point of view booking pre-travel can save precious holiday time and money.
OTAs, although they wish to extend their client’s spend, have so far failed to get the best quality destination experiences. Understandable as they have over 80,000 destinations and locality is not easy to compute.
Looks like there may be an opportunity for a set of well curated destination sites.
But how would they work?
Read about it in the Sustainable Tourism Report 2021 on offer at 75% reduction for review copy subscribers..
Valere Tjolle is the travel and tourism insider. An entrepreneur, consultant, developer and journalist, he has been in at the beginning of almost every tourism development for the last sixty years. There is no one better placed to expose the seedy side of tourism nor its enormous opportunities to unite people across the globe.