The travel industry, no stranger to disruption, is experiencing a new wave of venture-backed startups. These businesses are generally larger than ever before and focused on bringing new customers and products into the digital travel fold. We expect this momentum to continue and for it have an impact on executives, founders, and investors throughout the sector.
The airline distribution ecosystem often gets unfairly labeled as being populated by dinosaurs. Our sense is that industry players are making genuine attempts to modernize, it’s just that it takes a long time to turn around such a titanic ship. We break down this complex and, at times, intimidating topic by reviewing the current landscape and inspecting four key fault lines in the space.
Along with marketers’ heavy investment in digital, the quality of digital advertising continues to improve with more advanced targeting and measurement capabilities. Optimized marketing success requires the right media mix and the right types of technology.
Airbnb continues to revolutionize the accommodation bookings industry while disrupting other sectors like tours and activities, restaurant reservations, and more. As the company heads towards a potential IPO, we tackle some of the key hurdles in its way including increasing regulation, impacts to housing markets, and its evolving role in both hospitality and distribution.
Emerging markets will shape the future of the travel industry but each region requires a unique strategy. MakeMyTrip and Despegar, online travel leaders in India and Latin America, provide unique insights into how to succeed their respective home markets.
Two years have passed since Marriott’s acquisition of Starwood, but the integration efforts continue on. The success of the Sheraton brand turnaround and the merging of the loyalty programs is critically important and could mean millions of incremental fee revenue for the combined company.
Many online travel agencies are no longer specialists in one product, instead aiming to become one-stop shops. The platform that a booking site can offer is a key part of its competitive moat and the contours of supply at Booking Holding and Expedia vary widely from each other.
The majority of first travel searches worldwide have no mention of a brand or destination, putting publishers of digital destination information in a uniquely influential position. Today, travelers have an overwhelming number of options, and publishers are challenged to differentiate themselves.
In today’s environment, hoteliers can no longer sit idly by, complacent with the tech systems and hardware that they have been using for decades. Those that focus on tech in terms of the overall customer journey will not only delight guests, but also outpace competitors in sales and ROI.
Online travel agencies remain essential to the travel industry as consolidators of and clearinghouses for advertising dollars throughout the space. We do not see OTAs being removed from this position easily, but challenges are growing by the day.
Amazon likely has a role to play in the future of travel distribution, marketing, or devices — if not all three. Travel leaders need to prepare today, or risk being caught flat-footed tomorrow.
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