New sign ups and startups are the buzz-words in the travel industry; as we see not only merger of former rivals and also many break-ups among friends.
All this is just in order to keep up with the growing competition and a need to push business and generate more profits. To do this, they have to take advice of various consultants and study the market trends in order to tap into the best of services that are needed and transform their own role as providers. For example, Amazon that started off as a book store has ventured out into many products and also into publication of books.
With intense competition building up between various online sites and aggregators, they are bound to become rivals to each other’s business and it is a question of either joining hands or facing the competition by giving something extraordinary. Most of the aggregators like TripAdvisor, Google and Trivago have become providers in their own right and have started offering booking as well as other travel related services.
Expedia which started off as a booking service is now in collaboration with many hotels as well as airlines and can offer many package deals. There are many other similar trends which replicate this kind of coming together of money search providers. Thus we see Google starting its own online services like booking various travel products and packages; so is the case with TripAdvisor which now has instant booking options on its site; which originally started off as just an information aggregator about tourism industry. It now also has joined hands with booking.com as its business partner.
There has been a marked increase on giving space on the platforms of various aggregators on a profit sharing basis; making all the services accessible at one site itself.
Most of the travel aggregators and providers are fully dependent upon the search engines like Google tracker as well as TripAdvisor to ensure maximum bookings of their services.
Another phenomenon that is on the rise is the breakaway factions from once known service providers which have started giving a stiff competition to their parent groups after learning the tricks of the trade from them. And the reason for this is obvious – customer loyalty ensures a bigger margin and better profits.
The known names in a particular service are a sure draw as they take away the customer base from the parent group, bringing projects to earn your startups, which have lesser distribution points.
Where is this trend leading?
As per Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of the Expedia Inc, “We do not know exactly where this is going, or where it will shake out.”
Nor does anyone else know. However one thing is very clear – it is the greater distribution and higher number of bookings that finally makes all the difference and as of now there is nothing better than a good travel meta-search engine that would give everything on a single platform. To this end, be ready to see more enemies turned friends and vice-versa in the years to come.