The PhoCusWright Consumer Travel Trends Survey
on survey findings, PhoCusWright has uncovered the following strategic
implications for the online travel industry:
Industry Analysis: The Internet has empowered online travelers to have broader
control over vacation planning and use technology to assist them throughout the
purchase process. This has given rise to meta-search tools, online communities
and other Web site features that simulate the experience and knowledge of
industry veterans at the point of sale. New and existing Web-enabled customer
support services will be imperative in order to broaden and redefine the value
of the Internet beyond low pricing and word-of-mouth referrals.
U.S. adults are spending more time online (often at the expense of other media
and purchase channels), use of the Internet channel is not exclusive. The same
is true in travel and airline industry analysis. Suppliers’ increasing
penetration of the online leisure market is the direct result of better
inventory management across both of their channels of distribution. This highlights
the importance of offering and using both online and offline channels for
customer service and support, particularly as online buyers begin to segment
their channels of purchase by the type of travel component purchased.
thoroughly integrated in our lives as: 1) a source for information; 2) a means
of communication; 3) a place to transact, and 4) a venue for entertainment,
the Internet functions as a portal for living. To truly capitalize on the
revenue opportunity and value of the Internet for travel, market participants
will need to view it in terms of these four functions for travel in the future.
the demographic profile of Internet users more closely parallels that of the
U.S. population, it is imperative to view the Internet as another channel of
travel distribution, rather than as a separate and distinct market. This means
adapting and targeting content, promotions and Web sites to meet the needs of
niche segments of the population such as the graying baby boomers who are
approaching their highest level of net worth, and members of key ethnic groups
(e.g., Hispanics, Asian-Americans) who are gaining affluence.
current trend toward more short vacation breaks and hybrid business/leisure
trips means that travelers will be taking more and different types of vacations
over the course of a year, and this provides increased opportunities to drive
allegiances. Loyalty will be increasingly derived from new and differentiated
vacation experiences, airline industry analysis, and the ability to target the emotional and
personal well-being of travelers, and services that help save/give back time.