Which emerging trends will fizzle, and which will pop? What is the most significant opportunity (or critical threat) that our industry faces? Which disruptive forces will re-shape the online travel landscape as we know it in the next years?Here are Rob Torres', Head of Travel, Google three predictions for online travel in 2012:
1) Aggressive consumer adoption of the mobile platform as a booking vehicle for travel - The growing adoption of web-enabled mobile devices is revolutionizing how many companies do business. Travel brands have an opportunity to take advantage of this trend.
- The number of mobile users researching travel is expected to grow 51% in 2012.
- 34% of all US smartphone users research from their mobile device
- 23% of all international travelers use mobile check-in for flights
- By 2012 18% of mobile users will also book from their smart device.
2) 2009 all over again....Travel shoppers will continue to search for deals and discounts at record levels. In 2012 consumers will again be willing to invest more time in the research process in order to save money – they will look for the best deals they can find, to get the most bang for their buck. Flash sale sites will continue to flourish....especially in the travel space.
3) Product innovation in the travel space will emerge for the first time since the entrance of OTA's in the late 90's. When you look across the phases of the travel cycle - Dreaming, Researching, Booking, Experiencing and Sharing - the potential for innovation, particularly in the early stages of dreaming and researching is astounding. In 2012 you will see quite a few travel start-ups emerge that attempt to capitalize on this opportunity.
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Editor: Alex Rojas writes articles related with technology, social media and marketing. Sponsored by Costa Rica Hotels, Motor de reservas en linea and Travel to Costa Rica