Semantic Tech: A Cure for Commoditization?
Author: Cathy Schetzina
Published: November 08, 2012
Content is King! The Customer is King! Over the past several years, the travel industry has enthusiastically touted the need to adopt a traveler-centric approach. Yet most travel booking websites look a lot like they did five years ago, providing one-size-fits-all search capabilities geared to travelers who already know their dates and destination. Trip planning is ripe for re-imagination, and semantic technologies hold the key, according to a recent PhoCusWright report, Semantic Technology in Travel: Powering the Next Leap Forward.
"Today's online travelers submit a search query, click through pages of results, and often end up settling for the cheapest commoditized travel product that meets a minimum standard," said Lorraine Sileo, vice president, research. "Semantic technologies have the potential to completely transform the shopping process, replacing these stock search results with expert recommendations personalized based on each traveler's specific preferences and needs."
Semantic technologies allow machines to recognize concepts, extract meaning and categorize information based on the context of relationships between various pieces of data. A revolutionary change in trip planning will require travel companies to fully understand the trip context – the purpose for the trip, the personal interests of individuals in the travel party, and the way all the trip components fit together from the time travelers leave home to the time they return. Although semantic technology is at an early stage, it will eventually enable travel companies to do just that.
Semantic Technology in Travel: Powering the Next Leap Forward provides a detailed overview of the status and potential of semantic web technologies. The article anticipates the coming travel planning revolution, while identifying key challenges that travel companies are likely to encounter along the way. Key topics include:
- Explanation of semantic technology benefits and potential travel applications
- Overview of semantic technologies, including W3C and OpenTravel standards
- Alternative approaches to semantic technology, featuring examples from within and outside the travel industry
- Implications and challenges for key players throughout the travel value chain
- Concrete next steps travel organizations can take today