The travel industry is notoriously divided into very neat silos.
You can slice by product vertical (flights, hotels, tours, car hire, cruise etc) with each having its own annual conference, often many around the world.
Then you can slice by how the product is sold (online, retail agent, business travel, groups etc). Again, each slice has its own conference(s).
Then you can slice by topic – you will find distribution conferences, social media conferences, payments and fraud conferences, destination marketing conferences etc etc.
Chaos. In fact, you could easily spend your entire life just going to conferences and still never get the full picture.
But one theme runs through many of these conferences – the bigger companies get to speak and the smaller companies get to listen. Immediately the inference is that somehow due to company size they are somehow going to be correct, relevant or worth listening to.
Now, in the online world, many of the larger companies are either online travel agents or are intermediaries of some kind. The smaller companies doing the listening tend to be the suppliers.
This has the unnatural effect that much of the discussion at the leading travel industry conferences about social, local, mobile etc, is from the perspective of an agent or intermediary.
This leads to problems as I will explain:
Read the full story at:http://www.tnooz.com/2011/03/23/news/could-social-media-kill-the-travel-intermediary/