For too long the travel industry has made a bold assumption that it knows how to reach its customers, says Travolution´s Kevin May. But he argues it´s now the other way round, calling for a shift in strategy.
"Consumers know exactly how they want to reach travel providers and interact with them - and, most importantly, with one another," he writes.
The types of sites web users are now flocking to in recent years (multimedia, social networking) illustrate a shift in how people now want to use the internet.
"Research published recently by Forrester indicates that that despite an increase in traffic to online travel sites, the number of bookings remains static or is falling in some cases," he says.
This is primarily because users are poorly served either by the quality of information they receive online or what they are able to do with it.
This shift in usage is beginning to have an impact on travel.
Travel companies must be ready for this change and be prepared to position themselves as multi-channel operations, serving consumers in as many ways the customer needs in order to research and book products.