Several industry analysts are beginning to comment on the comparative growth of e-tourism as opposed to e-travel.
There is no doubt that several DMO are now actively looking for commercial partners as reported by Kate Rice of Web Travel News
“The European Travel Commission is looking at booking engines. The commission`s Web site currently links virtual visitors to sites on which they can book travel.
MySwitzerland.com, Swiss Tourism’s site, has had a booking engine on its site since November 1999. The Caribbean Tourism Organization plans to sell travel on its site and possibly other items that complement Caribbean tourism such as music or books. The Belgian Tourist Office’s site already offers links so site visitors can book travel to Belgium and plans to expand these partnerships.”
Also DMO’s have a steadier income when compared to the dotcoms and the B2C commercial travel sector. (Something all travel technology providers should remember in these post boom times) but as the DMO’s move to the web will they actually change the industry.
The Danish Tourism Board web site allows visitors to Source Company’s who provide everything from Cycling Tours to Christmas breaks but could the DMO’s make this a commercial service as opposed to a reference tool. If they do where wills this leave the Travel Agency who have been squeezed out selling flights and are now focussing on the holiday market.
The progress of DMO’s and resorts should be watched by the industry with interest and a good place to start your research would be the Eyefortravel show “E-Commerce for travel Europe where we have the panel:
Tourist Boards integrating non-profit portals and commercial sites How to integrate e-business with non-profit portals
Who is innovating web based destination marketing?
Can the public sector really sell better than the private sector?
Tourism boards and suppliers. How does each sector benefit from cooperation?