Thursday, 19 January 2017

Nominations now open for EyeforTravel’s Start-Up Travel Awards 2017

Does your travel company have what it takes to succeed in travel?  Is your app or product a key weapon in your battle to win and engage travel consumers?  New travel brands will find out as they battle it out as part of EyeforTravel’s Start-Up Travel awards taking place in San Francisco, April 24th – 25 as part of EyeforTravel’s San Francisco Summit.

Research showed us Travel startups attracted billions of dollars in funding last year, and the travel booking sector attracted some of the most investment — more than $650 million.
“Start-ups represents a fundamental shift in innovation in travel.  At EyeforTravel we believe that the brands investing and innovating in mobile and new offerings deserve to be recognised”, says Tim Gunstone, MD, EyeforTravel Ltd.

As Charles Ralston from TripStreak said on the previous EyeforTravel Awards “The Start-up Village is a really great value for money, especially for start-ups that can’t typically afford to spend thousands on conference. Bravo to EyeforTravel for pioneering this!”

Travel is being changed by mobile, the sharing economy social media and that constant drive to deliver the best customer experience.  Technology is transforming the way travel is sold – providing exciting opportunities to enhance the customer experience, grow loyalty and ancillary revenues.

EyeforTravel’s Start-Up Awards seek to recognize the young brands who are making significant progress for travel – trailblazing the way for others to follow.
With new apps, services and devices hitting the travel market and extra capabilities coming to devices, travel brands cannot sit still and must continue to innovate. EyeforTravel are offering new brands a stage to shout about it!

Previous finalists include FLYR, Seatwizer, Flitways, Stiya, Biz Airlines, spacebase, tripstr, Grabr, wellobox and more!

The Start-up awards is a day-long event

  • Starting with learning sessions – quizzing travel entrepreneurs on their secrets of success
  • Meet the investors – and see what they look for in a travel start-up
  • Start-up Pitches for the companies that are shortlisted
  • Finalists and Winners announced

To get involved and see if you make the cut you can register today to pitch or just attend the day learn more here

All entries must be received by February 28th. Find out how to enter your brand and for full terms and conditions, visit –

For all awards enquires contact: -

Shreya Ganapathy
Project and Content Director | Eyefortravel
W:  +44 20 7375 7150

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

How Is Data Changing Travel?

Data is the driving force behind the changes being felt in the travel industry and its effects are being applied everywhere, from flight searches to hotel front desks. The pace and level of this change can seem overwhelming but we want to help guide you through this with our new State of Data in Travel Survey.

Take just five minutes to complete the survey and we will send you the results, so you can see how the industry is changing, where the challenges are, and how you compare. If you work with data at all, whether as a CEO, marketer, revenue manager, analyst, or data professional, we would love to hear from you. Completing the survey will also get you access to a host of free content and a chance to win a pair of Luxe Edition Beats Solo2 headphones!

We want to use the survey to figure out where the opportunities and the barriers are, such as:

  • How are budgets changing? 
  • What are the most popular data sources and where are the gaps?
  • What is driving investment into data?
  • What channels are working well for marketers?
  • What is holding the industry back? Staffing & skills? Attribution issues? Poorly-defined KPIs? Data quality & cleanliness?

We will be analysing your answers alongside hundreds of other travel professionals to create a comprehensive report.

This report is part of our Smart Travel Data Series, which you will also receive for completing the survey. You can access the white papers we have already released as part of this series through the following links, with more content to come:

We look forward to hearing about your experience with data in the travel industry and will continue to produce research to support you and your organisation.

Alex Hadwick

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Boeing puts down vote of confidence in European travel

Source: Pixabay

Boeing has announced its long-term forecasts for aircraft demand out to 2035 and has given Europe a bill of health, expecting strong demand from the market despite ongoing uncertainty. In Boeing’s estimates the European market will increase from a fleet of 4,610 aircraft in 2015 to 7,920 aircraft in 2035, creating a market for nearly 7,600 new planes.   

Boeing’s projections make it the largest market it assessed at a value of $1.12 billion in sales to 2035, although it should be noted that Asia-Pacific was broken out into several regions. By way of an example, the forecasts are favourable when compared to the US, where the fleet is expected to grow by 42% compared to the 72% growth that will occur in Europe over the period.

This confidence is welcome news given the economic and political concerns that are currently facing the continent. Overall, the Eurozone is performing well against admittedly low expectations but substantial issues remain. European banks continue to struggle with non-performing loans and fines, such as Monte dei Paschi and the lightly-capitalised Deutsche Bank. The Greek economy continues to experience recession in 2016 and Italy’s long travails don’t appear to have an end in sight. On the political side, upcoming German and French elections are troubled by the rise of populist parties on the right who are making gains through migrant concerns, Italy heads towards a major referendum and of course there is the potential dual economic and political quagmire of Brexit.

If Boeing is right, then the vast majority of European growth will be in single-aisle, smaller planes. They expect this class of plane to account for 78% of new planes with Low-Cost Carriers (LCCs) being the key customers. It is thought that LCCs will continue to grab market share, with the analysis noting that they already control nearly 50% of Europe’s traffic. Boeing commented that “LCCs dominate short-haul, point-to-point service and large network carriers and their alliance partners exploit the cost advantages of mega-hubs for long-haul traffic.” This is something of an issue for Boeing, who bet big on the 787 Dreamliner, an expensive, medium widebody, twin-aisle plane. Airbus, on the other hand, have focused on their line of single-aisle planes and are consequently ahead in the order race.

This single-aisle focus sugests that Boeing is expecting intra-European travel to be the main growth market, rather than log-haul routes. That being said, the single-aisle planes of the new generation can fly further than preceding generations, as they use 20% less fuel. 

They also have lower running costs and the combined savings should pay dividends for the European consumer. They can expect a competitive market driven by LCCs that pass costs savings down and have agressive expansion plans for both intra-European and transcontinental routes. 

The growth of LCCs is typified by the rise of Norwegian Air. It has aggressively grown its fleet and used the lower costs to outmanoeuvre carriers using legacy planes. This has allowed it go from a regional player in Scandinavia to the third largest budget airline in Europe and now to fly across the Atlantic in a little over a decade.

Norwegian, Boeing and European consumers will hope that the forecasts come to fruition as they point to a robust regional air market powered by fundamentally strong intra-European tourism. Airlines will be able to make savings from the new aircraft, which should be passed on to grateful consumers helping to further boost trip numbers. 

If you want to find out more about how airlines can make the most of future growth by improving their relations with customers, then download our latest white paper here.

Alex Hadwick
Head of Research, EyeforTravel

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Brexit Blues or Brexit Beater? Why the UK Travel Industry Could Be One of the Strongest Economic Sectors

The dust has now cleared on Britain's vote to leave the EU but plenty of uncertainty and heated debate remains ongoing. Not least of which is the lack of clarity from Westminster. It is frankly absurd that we are none the wiser as to precisely when the UK will trigger the leaving mechanisms nor as to what any deal will look like three months on. However, we can at least begin to make some conclusions and it seems that one of the beneficiaries of the referendum will be the UK travel industry.

Firstly and most critically, the pound's fall is precipitous and, in general, bad for the overall UK economic health. As a net importer with a pretty parlous balance of payments, it is going to be more expensive for the UK to buy goods and services and therefore add to inflation. However, for inbound travel to the UK, it is a big boon, with travel becoming nearly 10% cheaper overnight for the Americans. Indeed for euro holders, they can buy nearly 19% more pounds at the time of writing than they could at a high point in November last year. It is unlikely that the pound is going to recoup many of these losses due to the economic environment and the Bank of England's potential to cut interest rates rather than raise them. A Bloomberg survey reckons that the pound will finish up this year at $1.28. With a competitive accommodation market and an increasing number of air connections, particularly across the pond to North America, the UK is looking good from a pricing perspective for international travellers.

This also plays well for the UK domestic tourism scene. Naturally, travel abroad is now significantly more expensive for UK tourists. Indeed, such have been the fluctuations that some UK holidaymakers were required to pay a surcharge after the referendum to cover the extra cost incurred by the travel provider. This is going to push UK tourists to consider holidaying at home this year and next.

Furthermore, the UK's economic environment is widely anticipated to worsen in 2017 due to Brexit, although if the UK government puts off triggering Article 50 past even that year, it might perform better. Consensus forecasts estimate that the UK will struggle past stagnation but struggle to grow by more than 1%. Given inflation and uncertainty wage growth is expected to be worse, as will the hiring environment. Well if that all seems bad, take heart as during the Financial Crisis and subsequent weak periods for the UK economy, domestic trips performed well just as international journeys fell.

Britain's aren't keen to give up their holidays, with research showing they take up all of their allotted holiday on average, and so largely substitute more expensive foreign travel for shorter breaks within the country. Companies such as Center Parcs performed well in the previous downturn and EyeforTravel's consumer survey - conducted just before the referendum - showed that 61% of consumers already planned some sort of vacation in the UK.

For both UK and international travel consumers there is also the perception of a terrorist threat in several mainland European tourist destinations. I feel that I should point out to everyone that is reading this at their desk that you are far more likely to die at your workplace than in a terrorist attack but nonetheless these actions do affect people's travel choices. Last year's Paris attacks negatively affected the city's tourism market and we have seen Spain and Portugal's bookings over the last 18 months benefit massively from instability in other Mediterranean destinations. The UK has many of the cultural attractions of France and Germany but has not seen a successful major attack inside the country for nearly a decade, meaning it will seem a more attractive destination in the medium term from this perspective barring a successfully prosecuted and substantial attack.

As any good analytics or data professional will tell you, the past is by no means a guaranteed predictor of the future. However, given all of the above I think we can be fairly confident of a strong domestic performance in the UK, especially as the Eurozone is cautiously growing, as is the US. Great British businesses have every right to be concerned right now but perhaps those in travel can look forward with more optimism than most.

To find out more about current and future trends in UK travel download our UK Consumer Report now. You can also get the pulse of the European travel industry face-to-face at EyeforTravel Europe 2017, our largest event on the continent.

Alex Hadwick
Head of Research, EyeforTravel

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Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Last chance to showcase your start-up or innovation at EyeforTravel N. America 2016

The entry deadline for the Awards, which Terry Jones, Executive Chairman Wayblazer and Founding Chairman, has recently joined as a judge, is this Friday September 9th.

The travel industry’s hottest start-ups and innovators will have the chance to pitch to top industry investors at EyeforTravel’s Start-Up & Innovation in Travel Awards (October 6-7). Taking place as part of EyeforTravel North America 2016 at the Palms Las Vegas, successful applications stand the chance to receive much needed advice, funding and exposure against a backdrop of a new wave of innovation in mobile, data and technology.

Attracting capital and generating a buzz around a product are among the major challenges facing start-ups today and all successful firms will have the opportunity to pitch in front of the panel of judges and investors, which includes Terry Jones, Executive Chairman Wayblazer and Founding Chairman, Saad Siddiqui, Investor, Edgewood Management LLC,George R. Arabian, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Steelhead Ventures, LLC and Tim Henstchel, CEO, HotelPlanner

"EyeforTravel runs the Start-up & Innovation Awards each year as we have seen first-hand what an unbeatable way it is for brands that are innovating and improving the travel experience to promote their product to investors, experts and the industry" says EyeforTravel’s Managing Director Tim Gunstone.

The lucky top two selected by the judging panel will have the opportunity to impress over 450+ senior executives from leading travel brands, including Priceline, American Airlines, Hyatt Hotels, TripAdvisor, Skyscanner and Southwest Airlines, during the keynote session on Day 2 of the event. Live voting by the conference attendees will decide the company to be crowned winner.

Not only have previous entries received funding as a result of the Awards, they have also had the opportunity to meet and do business with travel industry peers.

To enter costs $1295 and includes subsidized access to both days of the TDS N. America conference, as well as the networking opportunities.  More information and details on how to enter can be found here -

All entries must be received by September 9th 2016.

The Last Chance discounted rates for attendees not entering the Awards also expire this Friday, register today to avoid paying the full price –

For all event enquiries contact:
Julia Heighton
Global Conference Director

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Turn Global Uncertainty on It's Head

This blog post was written by Julia Heighton, the organizer of EyeforTravel’s flagship event TDS N. America 2016, taking place in Las Vegas on October 6-7.

In times of global turmoil, the travel industry is often the first to be adversely affected. With Brexit, talks of another recession and unrest on a global level, there is plenty for travel brands to fear.

Fortunately, with uncertainty comes profound opportunities. Innovation in the industry is booming and consumers in the US are more likely to travel now than they were 10 years ago. Now is the time to ensure your brand is positioned to effectively win these customers and take valuable market share from your competitors, before they take it from you.

Here are 6 key areas travel brands should be focusing on to stay ahead of the competition:

·        Customer experience – Gone are the days when the quality of your product was the key differentiator between you and your competitors. Now you are judged on the interaction your customer has with your brand at every touchpoint. It’s absolutely crucial to take advantage of the fast growing innovation in the industry and ensure you are providing a consistent, seamless, user friendly experience at every stage of the customer journey. True customer centricity starts with thinking what will make your customer’s life easier, not your own.

·         Online reputation – Word of mouth is now the most influential form of marketing. Online reviews, social media posts and user-generated content are fast growing and a huge opportunity for travel brands to use what their customers are saying about them to further increase sales. Remember, even bad reviews are a chance to engage with customers, show the human side of your brand and hopefully turn a negative experience into a positive one which will result in a loyal, repeat customer.

·         Partnerships - The changing world of ground transportation, corporate travel, group travel and property management companies means the travel ecosystem is becoming increasingly interconnected. Forming partnerships with other travel brands is now crucial to exceed customer expectations and cater to their needs throughout all stages of their trip.

·         Distribution – The cost of acquisition is rising and the increasing amount of channels available is making your product’s route to market extremely complex. Now is the time to develop a distribution strategy which looks at the true value each channel brings to your business so you can optimize the most profitable ones and cut those that aren’t delivering.

·         Revenue Management – The role of Revenue Managers is rapidly changing and the long-awaited innovation in RM systems means this function is now a central force in aligning departments and achieving the ultimate goal of increasing profits and driving growth. Ensure these teams are equipped with the systems and talent to really drive change and innovation throughout your organization and you will reap the rewards.

·         Personalization – Treating your customers like individuals and catering to their personal preferences is a huge opportunity to increase engagement and drive loyalty. Investing in technology which will allow you to easily interpret your data and turn it into actionable strategies is crucial to deliver true personalization.

These might sound like good ideas and in an ideal world you would execute them all tomorrow but what is actually a good starting point when budgets and time are precious? At EyeforTravel we believe there is no better way to stay ahead of industry trends and learn how to implement innovative strategies than by meeting and benchmarking against your peers, which is why we launched TDS N. America almost 20 years ago.

The only industry event where you won’t just hear from strategy setting CEOs but executives who are doing the same job as you and share your challenges and interests. With 60+ expert speakers sharing real-life case studies and insights relating to the areas of opportunity we’ve outlined above, TDS N. America 2016 is your platform to turn global uncertainty on its head and deliver growth across your organization.

Download the event brochure now to find out how you can be a part the most informative and useful industry conference taking place this year -

Thursday, 21 July 2016

We’re changing!

Way back in 1997, EyeforTravel pioneered the Travel Distribution Summit, an event aimed at bringing together the breadth of the travel industry to discuss the impact of the internet on sales, marketing and distribution. A lot has changed in the past 20 years, from the early days of dial-up right through to the 4G smartphone era we all live in today.

The legacy of our ’97 Travel Distribution Summit has been a staple of the EyeforTravel calendar, but with our 20-year anniversary approaching, we are looking to evolve with the industry. As times have changed, so have we, so from now on our flagship European summit will be called EyeforTravel Europe.

EyeforTravel Europe will be our largest event outside of North America, and we will be aiming to be the one true EU meeting point for the travel industry. We also want to make sure that attendees can make the most of their time outside of the office. 

With all of our lives getting busier and busier, especially our work day, taking the time to research the plethora of events out there is never straight forward. This is the basis for building EyeforTravel Europe into the flagship that it is now, to make sure that if you can only make it to one event, it can give you the key insight for the entire year.

We always aim to bring the high-level strategic leadership of the C-suite, mixed in with the in-depth knowledge of department heads from key brands to make the event truly inspiring and insightful. So, in 2017 we’ll be back with our most in-depth content yet and more senior execs taking to the stage in our brand new (and much larger) venue in central London on 3-4th May 2017.

To see what has changed, register for updates on the summit by following this link:

Looking forward to seeing you at EyeforTravel Europe!