Online travel industry heading for slow down

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
  prove successful.

  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.”

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  The growth in broadband now means that people can compare prices more
  easily.

  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
      competitive advantage.

      “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
      the future.”

  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.”
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