At least $63 billion changed hands on the Internet in the name of travel last year. It was the largest sales category out of a total of $172 billion online transactions in the U.S., according to Forrester Research.
By 2010 the travel component on Web commerce is expected to account for $119 billion of a total $329 billion.
The islands of the Caribbean are also increasingly realising the importance of the Internet for purchasing travel and this is one reason why the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) is participating in this year’s World Travel Internet Conference (WTIC).
The travel technology meeting will take place on September 18th in the Turks & Caicos and will be attended by Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, Secretary General, of the CTO, who will give a presentation at the event.
He will join industry decision makers from the tourism trade to debate, engage and define the new reality in the travel-tech marketplace, as well as what the next generation of e-commerce will mean for this rapidly expanding sector, the Caribbean and beyond.
Timely, interactive sessions will focus on: the future of aviation, hotel distribution, online travel trends, destination marketing and wireless in the travel industry.
The roster of online experts include executives from Pegasus Solutions, Fairmont, Expedia, Cheapflights, Cable & Wireless, Barbados Tourism Authority, Priceline.com, Swiss, Unisys, Sabre Travel Network and Turks & Caicos Tourism Authority.
Online bookings, search engine marketing, e-ticketing, travel podcasts, blogs, wireless access when travelling are all now having a major impact on the industry.
These will be just some of the topics up for discussion during the one-day conference, which is designed to put online marketing trends into a broader perspective and to equip conference-goers with the insight and tools necessary to successfully compete in the online travel arena.
By 2007 nearly 40 percent of all travel in the U.S. is expected to be booked via the Internet with bookings growing at nearly four times the rate of the total travel market.
Europe still lags behind North America in the adoption of Internet commerce, with online travel booking trends mirroring American ones a few years ago. Asian countries, with their growing populations are also showing solid growth for online bookings.
Four travel distribution firms —Expedia, Sabre, Cendant and Priceline.com—now control 12 percent of the entire U.S. tourism trade and 97 percent of the country’s online travel agency market, according to market analyst PhoCusWright. These companies are amongst many that have confirmed their participation as speakers at the WTIC and will be sharing their knowledge and expertise with 200 delegates from around the world.
“With top speakers and leading industry experts confirmed, this conference is slated to be one of the most exciting events in the region”, says event organiser, Anna Gouldman. “We are on target to deliver a program that will be educational, interactive and thought-provoking.”
Attendees will represent airlines, hotels, state and regional travel associations, destination marketing organisations, international and receptive tour operators, and consulting firms with travel clients.
About the Conference
The World Travel Internet Conference (WTIC) was initiated to compliment the World Travel Awards in 2004. The conference, which is now in its second year, aims to increase awareness of emerging technologies within the travel sector, as well as to tackle some of the key issues that many businesses are facing.
Go to www.worldtravelinternetconference.com for more details.
If you would like to participate in the event or you are interested in sponsoring or speaking at WTIC please contact the organiser, Anna Gouldman.
Email: [email protected], Tel: +44 (0) 208 374 0970