Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Apparently the online grim reaper is here again…. But it could be something else this time…

That “cheerful” publisher Plimsoll Publishing recently said 70 UK Tour Operators are looking like HMV (a once popular and now defunct Music store chain) and could soon fold.

When I read this I assumed that this would just be another example of the evolution of travel sales leaving the established travel business behind in terms of product and customer behaviour.

Plimsol Publishing concluded  "As seen with the recent closures and administration of big high-street stores, these were all victims of outdated business models. It's much the same in the tour operators market, the overall market is healthy, but these companies are falling behind.”

However if you look at what ABTA say it may not be the case. Recession hit Brits are going back to packaged products and the high street channel has seen a rise in 2012, with 27% booking through a high street agent compared to 25% in 2011

Now I have always understood that most organisations fail at the end of the recession. Could this finally be the case.  Travelmole reported yesterday that this market is seeing sales increasing at 7.2%, with margins sitting at 1.8%

But I am also seeing new trends impact the travel industry all the time. For instance our latest conference in New York was looking at how the Travel industry is using big data and analytics and it was a sell-out. I am pretty certain this would not have worked a year ago. Big data is now seemingly affordable, Social media is providing the insight you guys need and mobile is providing the channel to sell. The established industry has to keep innovating and those that will are going to do very well.