The online travel industry could be heading towards a serious slow-down
due to consumers’ desire to hunt for the cheapest priced holiday,
according to the latest research by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.
‘Hospitality Directions Europe’ report into online travel industry
suggests that this shift in the industry means that the strategies
adopted by online travel agencies to build the industry may no longer
David Trunkfield, director, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP comments:
“In the online world, people don’t care who they buy from, so long
as they are getting a cheap price. If businesses don’t get their
price right, consumers will go elsewhere. It is as simple as that.
“Online travel agents are not yet providing sufficient
differentiation in their offering, so it is not surprising that
consumers are simply looking at the cheapest price - because to
them everything looks the same.”
The growth in broadband now means that people can compare prices more
David Trunkfield also warns that online agents need to know their
customer even better now as they increasingly hold more power.
“The market is becoming more competitive and it will be those
agents that can attract customers to their sites, keep them on
their sites and then convert clicks-to-trips that will have the
“Providing different, unusual products, bundling various offerings
together, delivering exclusive content to consumers on a number of
online platforms will all contribute to a strong business model for
Findings from the research also indicate that online agents need to
focus on hotel content in order to provide some of this differentiation.
Agents that become destination specialists with a greater range of
hotels will be the big winners.
David Trunkfield, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP suggests that those agents
that adopt a supplier-friendly approach to negotiations with hoteliers
will be at an advantage.
“Online travel agents that can work with hoteliers on yield and
occupancy can get exclusive or increased inventory.”