REMEMBER YOUR LAST CONVERSATION WITH THAT family relative who couldn’t talk enough of how much they saved on their last holiday package deal? Or that colleague bragging about his $59 round- trip flight to Las Vegas and his stay in a 5-star hotel at $89 a night? Have you found yourself staring wistfully (and suspiciously) at a $399 package deal for two for Hawaii?
Just because your email seems flooded yatch rental Dubai at times with seemingly impossibly priced travel offers, and you find Internet search engines are flooded with 1000’s of sites selling internet travel besides big hotel brands and branded distribution sites don’t discount them all.
Just four or five years ago, when you looked for travel discounts you could choose between a travel agent, the airline offices and the hotels themselves, and maybe, if you were lucky, some travel guru down the street. Today, there’s a massive range of things you can do online, and a lot of them can save significant amounts of money.
• Nine out of 10 online travelers now have some history of shopping for travel online, and nearly 15% of all Americans purchased travel online last year – that’s five times the penetration rate of 1998. (PhoCusWright Consumer Travel Trends Survey)• Nearly one-third of online travel buyers say the Internet was responsible for their travel purchases last year.
• In 1998, six million consumers bought travel online in the U.S. Jump ahead to 2002 when 30 million Americans purchased travel online in the last year. Half of them only buy their travel online. (PhoCusWright Consumer Travel Trends Survey)
• Internet bookings in the first three quarters of 2002 accounted for over 23% of rooms sold in New York, and over 15% in Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco. Anecdotally, for some properties, hotel managers are reporting Internet bookings ranging from 30% to 50% of all room nights in 2002. (Smith Travel Research and TravelClick)
This means that online distribution channel is extremely successful in reaching buyers and buyers are finding it more confirmable to shop online. They are seeing a broader range of travel options and variety of products and packages. And its more likely that consumer wants to control that transaction through access to more competitive pricing. Pricing is becoming key factor to determine the sale.
• Competitive Price
• Ability to compare product and Prices
• Ability to plan last minute
• Availability of Range of options
Online travel shoppers are not very loyal on where they shop—65 percent of online travelers do not view themselves as brand-loyal. As much as they love to shop online and spend their time researching what suits their needs, they are not loyal to the companies from which they buy.
The above scenario indicated that the travel suppliers have no choice but to participate in this online distribution channel. The suppliers are realizing that the traditional channels like GDS (Global Distribution System)/travel agent and call center/reservation office is somewhat inefficient and expensive, especially when the economy is weak. Ignoring online distribution channel and concentrating only on traditional distribution channels will result in lower occupancy, and higher distribution and operational costs for travel suppliers. As online channels become more popular among suppliers their participation is increasing.