Sep 20, 2012
This report provides a quantification of how the travel business has changed and how the role of marketing communications has shifted.
Where are you going in 2010?
Make no mistake, the Internet has had the biggest impact on the way people buy their holidays since Thomas Cook invented the package holiday in the 19th century. In fact, it would be hard to name another industry that has felt the dramatic effects of the web more than travel.
Despite this radical shift, it can be easy to take this change for granted. Can you remember how you booked a holiday before the web? Neither can we.
However, it wasn’t so long ago that travel agents and tour operators dictated the market – they were the only options. You went to them for advice on where to go for your precious two-week summer break, and would be greeted with a wall of brochures and partisan advice – your choice was limited by what that company offered.
Then the first wave of the Internet, in the early 2000s, instigated a revolution in the way we book, making household names of virtual booking agents including Expedia and Lastminute and creating new industries like low-cost airlines that changed the way we travel forever. Most importantly they created unlimited choice for consumers and placed them in charge of where they wanted to go. Thanks to this, the travel market is dictated
by the needs and wants of the consumer.
But perhaps an equally significant shift has emerged in the last couple of years. Travel consumers have been empowered further by the rise of social media and the ability to share their holiday experience online. Photo sharing, blogging, review sites and social networking services have quickly established themselves as a central part in most people’s lives and have made it incredibly easy to publish and share opinions. The result is that consumer opinions and shared experiences now have a huge impact on how holidays are planned.