A new study from Jupiter Media Metrix, and authored by a team headed by Heidi Kim, will see the online business travel industry worth $33 billion by 2005 - up from $4 billion in 2000.“Business Travel`s Big Bang-Online Booking Solutions Ring In A New Order,” predicts that this will have a profound effect on all aspects of the travel industry, both online and offline.
The report agrees with what many others have said, namely that that traditional travel players will have to find new roles in the travel industry.
Jupiter warns that while the deployment of online booking systems is bound to increase, the bigger challenge companies and travel technology partners face is getting employees to actually use the new systems.
The bottom line, the report says, is that companies and travel solutions providers will have to work in tandem to implement training sessions to promote awareness and usage.
During 2000, Jupiter estimates that air travel represented 70% of the booking dollars spent via business online services, compared to the 20% by hotel bookings and over 9% from car rentals during the year.
By 2005, however, Jupiter expects hotel reservations and car rental bookings to increase, comprising 24% and 12% online booking dollars, respectively. The position of traditional travel agents has always been viewed as precarious against the rise and rise of the Internet.
Jupiter`s report suggests that today`s travel agents will find a new role for themselves in offering support for online booking services to businesses, both in the training and ongoing support issues marketplace.