As hoteliers are planning for 2013, travel industry players are predicting the next big trends and concepts. Though companies are highlighting various aspects of the industry one thing everyone is keeping top of the mind - the consumer. Here are some travel tends, which industry leaders have predicted:
Distribution, marketing and Apple
For example, Starwood capital Group is going to tweak its distribution mix to keep up with the growing number of consumer.
According to Ash Kapoor, VP of Revenue Management and Distribution for Starwood Capital, fundamentally the company is looking at digitizing marketing approach in 2013. One trend the company noticed is that intermediary bookings are rising faster than property-direct booking. However, Kapur does not see it as a bothersome issue, because he finds working with intermediaries as a partnership. “If it’s a partnership that’s growing faster than direct channels, we need to address it,” he said.
Rumors that Apple entering the travel industry is another distribution issue, hoteliers are showing concern about. However, Kapur holds that there is something the industry needs to keep in mind. The bigger question is that if Apple introduces itself in the travel industry, how would they get access to the inventory? Who will provide them inventory and who will provide them with the rate? He said that when it comes to distribution, hoteliers are in control of their inventory.
For Expedia, the main highlight in 2013 will be the consumer-focused innovation. According to Abhijit Pal, Senior Director for Global Strategic Accounts and gaming at the company, Expedia cares about choice, and they are also concerned about transparency and convenience. This indicates investment in social and mobile. Pal said that on Expedia, they need to invest in social as they know that the customers are social.
Catching up to the consumers
Tran Hang, Head of the travel industry at Google, holds that 2013 will be the year of catching up to consumer behaviors. He said that this year mobile alone represented 35% of all searches and next year it is expected to be about 45%.
What Google found in its data is that it users look for something truly experiential. According to Travis Katz, founder and CEO of Gogobot, a travel-related social network, consumers do not like the same thing as everybody else. Moreover, at times consumers are constrained and they also become price sensitive. Travis Katz said that Google is a significant player in the search space.