/* Google Analytics ----------------------------------------------- */

Friday, February 3, 2012

Travel 2.0: From dream (1998) to reality (2012)

Travel 2.0, a new term coined in 1998, is becoming a reality in 2012.

The main drivers are:

  • Mobile - smartphone are now available everywhere in volume
  • Mobile can be powered by Voice - SIRI on Iphone or all the others on Android enable more easy interactions with mobile apps.
  • GDS 2.0 are emerging - built on top of ITA or Farelogix, this new Travel search engines are providing easy to use API, and are enhanced by great  new Travel 2.0 site like HipMunk, Superfly, or Google Flight Search.
  • Tablet design (and couch surfing) are impacting web site. Kayak and TripIt recently rebuilt their web sites to match their IPAD User Experience. And by doing that they also prepare for Connected TV and Microsoft Kinect like interactions (death of the mouse...).
  • All corporate online booking tools are using hybrid mobile apps (HTML 5 + Native) and enable now (since Dec. 2011) policy compliant booking from mobile (Concur, KDS, GetThere). Only Aetm from Amadeus and  Traveldoo from Egencia are lagging behind.
  • Suppliers are investing to become "Mono" OTA. Following the model invented by French rail company SNCF and its voyages-sncf site, they are building a B2B (corporation oriented) and B2C (aka. leisure) web site for direct booking and basic dynamic package (sell car, hotel for an air supplier).
  • Corporate Travel Policy will be less and less based on a stringent PDF document and more and more available dynamically by checking dynamically the "right" fare. Obtaining the right fare will be done  through new type of providers and by offering spend transparency over the social network. Some OBT will not survive and OTA will try to extend their reach to corporation. 
  • Gamification will also enter the game to provide leaderboards and clear statistics about who's playing well (and not) the corporate/family travel game.
  • Travel could be represented by a set of pre-defined events (booking, ticketing, expense mgt) and by alerts (delay, cancelled flight, strikes, etc.). More and more, the notion of timeline (Facebook with Wipolo, or KDS project NEO) or storyboard (Rearden DEEM platform). Others will push even further this concept and move the whole travel lifecycle within the calendar system.
  • The rise of Mega-platform will also leverage some solutions against some others. Next generation travel 2.0 solutions will be native on Facebook, on Apple IOS (named iTravel), on Google (Flight Search and Hotel finder) and also on... Amazon and eBay. And last but not least the last kids on the blocks: Pinterest is also able to revolutionize travel inspiration and booking, by promoting friends and local travel plans.
  • The final missing link to make the whole travel process smoother is Artificial Intelligence and big data, or the digitally enhanced wisdom of friends and crowd. Imagine a system that will book the room you will like in an hotel (non smoking, quiet room not near from Ice machine, with shower and not bath) or in a plane (avoiding the worse seats shown by a site like seatGuru).
Future is here, and we were never so near from a real Travel 2.0 offer that could disrupt the market ...