|Online Travel Market|
|Travel Industry Online Developments|
Travel Industry Online Developments
Google's Hotel Finder and Flight Search have fundamentally altered what travel consumers see above the fold on search engine results pages (SERPs). Travel researchers who search potential flight destinations or hotel accommodations will no longer see 10 blue links immediately below the top-of-page paid search ads. Consumers instead see flight times or hotel website links with rudimentary pricing information, powered by Google, immediately underneath sponsored ads.
Google Maps will see some of the most noticeable results of Google's travel-related acquisitions. And of all the various types of pages and websites used by travelers, Google Maps is the most heavily trafficked, particularly on mobile. Search results in a mobile browser slant even more significantly to Google's metasearch products than do desktop search results, due to mobile's small screen size.
Top 10 travel websites among US internet users, ranked by market share of visits, December 2012:
1. Google Maps: 16.32%
2. MapQuest: 8.00%
3. Expedia: 2.75%
4. Southwest Airlines: 2.33%
5. TripAdvisor: 2.27%
6. Priceline.com: 1.99%
7. Delta Air Lines: 1.53%
8. CheapOair: 1.36%
9. Travelocity: 1.35%
10. Orbitz: 1.23%
Top 10 travel-related mobile websites visited by US smartphone owners, ranked by unique visitors, June 2012 :
1. Google Maps: 17.4 million
2. TripAdvisor: 4.2 million
3. MapQuest: 3.8 million
4. Yahoo! Local: 2.7 million
5. Southwest Airlines: 2.0 million
6. Priceline: 1.6 million
7. Expedia: 1.6 million
8. Marriott: 1.5 million
9. United Airlines: 1.4 million
10. Hotels.com: 1.4 million
The biggest and most legitimate concern among travel marketers is that Google will prioritize its original travel content results. (eMarketer, January 2013)
US travel advertisers will dedicate $4.7 billion to digital in 2016, nearly double the $2.4 billion they spent in 2011, according to eMarketer's digital ad spending forecast, which encompasses both online and mobile advertising.
This growth is underpinned by the natural influx of new advertisers coming to the digital marketplace and increasing their spend over time, as well as established digital advertisers focusing on emerging channels. Advertiser trends, newer online ad formats and mobile advertising in general are collectively driving rapid growth through 2014. By 2015, year-over-year growth for digital travel advertising will continue, but it will begin to show signs of maturation, dipping into the high single-digit percentages.
US travel industry digital ad spending, 2010-2016:
- 2010: $1.84 billion (7.0% of digital ad spending)
- 2011: $2.40 billion (7.5%)
- 2012: $2.98 billion (8.0%)
- 2013: $3.48 billion (8.2%)
- 2014: $4.06 billion (8.5%)
- 2015: $4.42 billion (8.5%)
- 2016: $4.70 billion (8.5%)
To put these numbers in context, travel is increasing digital ad spending faster than almost all other US industries. During eMarketer's forecast period, travel will steadily gain market share, rising from 7% of all US digital advertising in 2010 to 8.5% by 2014, when it will level off as the market shows its first signs of maturity. Travel's 8.5% share puts it squarely in the middle of US digital ad spending by industry, but aside from media, whose share of all digital advertising will increase 1.9 percentage points during the forecast period, travel leads all other industries in market share growth.
Travel's 14.4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2010 and 2016 also reflects the industry's dedication to digital. According to eMarketer's estimates, travel will have the third-highest CAGR of all US industries during the forecast period.
Reading between the lines, travel is spending considerably more than the two industries it trails in CAGR, as both media and entertainment's growth rates are reflective of a smaller spending base.
Overall, travel's ad and marketing executives were right in line with their counterparts from other US industries, according to Advertiser Perceptions' "Advertiser Optimism Index: AIR Wave 17 Spring 2012," sharing similar optimism for spending across all digital channels. Optimism in this case was measured by the difference in the percentage of respondents increasing and decreasing ad budgets in these areas.
The one outlier in ad spending for travel, notably, was its optimism index for magazine advertising. Travel advertisers were just barely on the optimistic side, with 9% more advertisers planning to increase spend on magazines compared to those who planned to decrease spend. However, all of travel's counterparts were squarely pessimistic about magazine advertising. (eMarketer, October 2012)
A significant majority of marketers worldwide (67%) rated email the most successful digital marketing tactic, according to May 2012 data from the CMO Council. June 2012 findings from the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) provided further evidence of success, showing improvement in US email open rates and clickthrough rates (CTR) for both in-house and prospect-intended emails in 2012, as compared to 2010.
For house lists, which the DMA defines as an email list of both past and present customers generated from a company's own database, the average open rate for 2012 was up 2.6 percentage points over 2010, and the CTR was up 1.1 percentage points over the same time period. Meanwhile, the open rate for prospect lists increased only slightly, but the CTR for these emails nearly doubled in the two-year timeframe, pointing to an increased ability to resonate with prospects once they opened an email.
Additional Q4 2011 findings from email and multichannel marketing services provider Epsilon offered greater insight into which industries and verticals are seeing the highest email performance metrics. Apparel retailers in North America had the highest-and a near-perfect-delivery rate, not surprising considering the deliberateness, and often judiciousness, with which consumers sign up for these emails. The Travel/hospitality - travel services industry enjoyed a non-bounce rate of 98.0% and an open rate of 31.5%; while click rate and click-to-open rate reached 4.3% and 13.5% respectively. (eMarketer, July 2012)
The Bermuda Department of Tourism is midway through its first mobile ad campaign as it targets a relatively affluent audience from nearby markets on the East Coast of the US. The tourism board enlisted ad agency Ingenuity Media for the campaign and Google's AdMob unit, which created the mobile banner ads and landing pages.
The campaign targets smartphone and iPad users with household incomes of $135,000 and above in key markets along the East Coast of the US, which generally may feature two-hour flights or thereabouts to Bermuda.
The destination marketing organization (DMO)'s intent is to catch mobile users' attention while they are engaged in or receptive to starting the travel planning process.
Bermuda's campaign kicked off in early July and runs through the end of 2011. The DMO keyed in on travel, health and fitness, and finance verticals to reach what it sees as the appropriate audience.
The ads led to AdMob-created landing pages, which provided further information about the destination, led to additional engagement on Twitter and Facebook, offered booking links at GoToBermuda.com, featured click-to-call functionality, and/or prompted mobile users to download Bermuda's new iPhone app.
Google has been working with tourism boards on mobile campaigns for the past two years, and demand for mobile advertising is increasing. (tnooz - talking travel tech, September 2011)
Among the first US destinations to employ this technology, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater (VSPC) has launched a 3-D "Two Treasures Tour" - a cutting-edge Augmented Reality (AR) experience - that allows the user to interact with the area's natural and cultural highlights.
By simply placing a printed "marker" in front of a computer webcam, visitors are now able to take an interactive 3-D tour, exploring the area's world-class beaches (Clearwater Beach, Caladesi Island State Park and Fort De Soto Park) and two of downtown St. Pete's most prominent arts destinations (the new Dali Museum and the Chihuly Collection - Morean Arts Center).
Each stop includes clickable icons that feature boxes with fun facts, travel tips, images and links for more information. Destinations outlined on a nearby sign post provide the user with a road map as they navigate through the sights. (aboutourism, July 2011)
City officials and businesses are using services such as quick response codes (better known as QR codes), social media sites and mobile phone-based apps to draw traffic, build customer loyalty for repeat visitors, and help track tourism activity. And compared with other popular destinations, San Antonio is using those tools effectively to develop the city's online presence.
Incorporating new technology along the famed River Walk, the city launched a self-guided tour this spring called the Historic Hugman River Walk Tour. Interpretive signs with scannable QR codes dot the River Walk's pathways, beckoning travellers to access the tour using smartphones and tablet computers.
Barcodes have been sprouting up around bigger cities including New York and Los Angeles at landmarks and parks. San Antonio's use of the codes along the River Walk will help officials learn how frequently people actually stop to participate in the tour. Since the tour was made available in May, it has been accessed via QR code by about 2,000 unique visitors, city officials said.
Local businesses also are embracing technology to attract more customers. A new, free app aims to bring traffic to the Southtown area, which is not frequented as much by tourists as the popular River Walk. The app developer, Broussard, who runs a downtown bicycle advertising company said he worked with 16 participating Southtown businesses to create the app, which shows upcoming events, deals, tour information and happy hour specials. (aboutourism.com, July 2011)
According to PhoCusWright's Philip C. Wolf, the travel, tourism and hospitality industry will become a real-time global market place. So all parts of the travel value chain (be it business or leisure travellers) and all types of suppliers (air, hotel, car, cruise) will all be live and active globally 24x7.
Philip C. Wolf has been a travel technology evangelist for over two decades, betting on the power of Internet and how it will change the travel industry. In a recent interview, Wolf joins the dots on the mega tech trends impacting the travel business. Harnessing the power of the social media in an always-connected global marketplace is the next big challenge facing travel companies, according to Wolf.
According to Wolf, a major milestone was Travel2.0 where one-way communication was replaced with two-way communication. Conversations took over and customers became equal stake-holders with other industry suppliers. Customers could share ideas, blog, post, tweet and do all these things. In fact, the current social media revolution is a by-product of the Travel2.0 concept. Rather than producers of websites just pushing content one way, customers were having conversations with them.
Now, a new milestone is that customers are connected 24x7 through multiple devices. This has never happened before. Last-minute travel has taken an entirely new meaning. A lot of this has to do with collaborative consumption. People are connected real time; you know where they are, and different parties can talk about different services and products, and all these happen real-time. Collaborative consumption is a powerful phenomenon. This is what companies such as Groupon and Zipcar are all about. Zipcar lets you hire cars by the hour instead of the day. They do not have offices in cities but they allow customers to find the car nearest to them through geo-located services. These technical tools are changing the various pieces of the travel industry.
Going forward, the travel, tourism and hospitality industry will become a real-time global market place. So all parts of the travel value chain (be it business or leisure travellers) and all types of suppliers (air, hotel, car, cruise) will all be live and active globally 24x7. And technology will allow a lot of searching, shopping, and comparing in a globally networked market place. The future is a real-time, connected global marketplace. And this will be device and channel agnostic, of course. (HOTELMARKETING.COM, July 2011)
Lonely Planet and the Lee County & Convention Bureau (VCB) have announced a first-of-its-kind strategic marketing partnership. Lonely Planet, one of the world's leading travel content provider, will create editorial guides across multiple channels (including print, digital, and mobile) to compliment the VCB's promotional campaigns and expand its marketing reach.
Lonely Planet will produce a customized printed guide for the destination, and a digital version will be posted online at www.fortmyers-sanibel.com. The partnership also includes development of a custom iPhone app, eight unique travel videos featuring Lonely Planet authors touring the region, a micro-site hosted by www.lonelyplanet.com, and advertising on both LonelyPlanet.com and the UK edition of Lonely Planet Magazine.
Lonely Planet's content will be available for Lee County visitors beginning in December 2010. The Lee County VCB represents The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel on southwest Florida's Gulf Coast. (Travelmole, October 2010)
Last Updated on Saturday, 29 June 2013 20:16