Travel businesses face challenging times ahead

Travel businesses can expect challenging times ahead in order to develop
business models and processes that support the new consumer-driven era of
lifestyle media, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers.  Yet
surprisingly, few companies are ready.
In this new environment, consumers will demand what content they want and
how they want it packaged to create a rich, personalised and social media
environment, an approach identified by PricewaterhouseCoopers as lifestyle
media in its report ‘The Rise of Lifestyle Media: Achieving Success in the
Digital Convergence Era’.

Malcolm Preston, UK travel leader, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP said: “This is an interesting time for the travel sector.  While its
    businesses aren’t traditional media businesses, the opportunity for
    travel companies to deliver personalised information in the desired
    format to consumers should not be ignored.

    “But they should be aware that competition could now also come from
    established internet businesses who want to enter the travel arena.
    An already competitive online travel environment is about to get even
    more competitive in the battle for consumers.

    “If travel companies can change their business models, processes and
    deliver personalised content to consumers in this new environment they
    will be at the forefront of this media shift.”

Sharon Stotts, UK performance improvement leader - entertainment and media
for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, said that to facilitate lifestyle media,
companies need to create a media marketplace.  This will connect media
providers and media seekers through organisational and technical
infrastructure that will support consumers, rather than hinder them.

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    “Knowing their customers’ behaviour and providing personalised content
    in the desired format is critical.  Yet, surprisingly, few companies
    are addressing this.”

More important though is the rapid speed at which the lifestyle media
environment is moving and companies need to ensure their business models
and project management skills are sound so as not to be left behind by the
competition.

Sharon Stotts, UK performance improvement leader - entertainment and media
for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP added:

    “With the wider offering and bundling of services supported by
    technology, we will see new entrants in the travel sector vying for
    position.

    “To ensure competitiveness, business models and project management
    strategies need to become more flexible while still balancing
    appropriate levels of efficiency and effectiveness.  Lengthy
    development lifecycles are no longer appropriate.

    “Also, it will be critical for businesses to develop a workforce with
    the right M&A and partnership viability skills to effectively deliver
    value to the business.”

Malcolm Preston, UK travel leader, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP said:

    “It’s a new world where new rules apply and companies will be fiercely
    competing for the travel customer.  To deliver an effective
    consumer-focused travel product, companies need to change what they
    are doing.”

Primary findings of the report include:

á    Consumer needs are expanding beyond mass and segmented media to
“Lifestyle Media”.

á    Knowledge of consumer behaviour will become the basis for
competition.

á    The media marketplace provides a structure to capitalise on
“Lifestyle Media”.

á    Early movers in establishing media marketplaces will have significant
sustainable advantage over late entrants.

á    Media marketplaces will be economically viable only if operational
efficiencies can be realised through consumer behaviour measurement
capabilities and supporting systems.

á    Convergence will require increased collaboration between value chain
partners to drive new products and services to consumers.
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