PhoCusWright, one of the leading travel industry research companies, conducted an online event last week sharing its experts’ top 10 travel trends insights into what 2011 holds for the performance of the travel industry.
Truth, Myth, and Pith: PhoCusWright’s 2011 Travel Industry Trends presentation, moderated by Lorraine Sileo, vice president of research, made clear that the biggest news for the industry is that vacations are finally making a comeback. People are tired of having to cut back or postpone their travels due to economic factors the past few years, they’re getting on the road again, and they’re willing to spend more and spend directly with suppliers as opposed to online travel agencies.
Other key trend topics included air distribution, with a battle lining up for online retail storefront and, ultimately, consumers that will eventually end with all parties coming to an agreement on how to live together; shift in search whether or not Google completes its acquisition of ITA; China, India and Brazil continue to lead the way in emerging markets, followed by Singapore, Mexico, Hong Kong, Argentina, Indonesia and Chile; and more advances in how mobile devices and tablets will improve customer service and enrich the travel experience.
Here is the complete list of 10 travel trends for 2011, along with which trends participants deemed the most important (each listener could choose up to three):
- Vacations (Finally) Make a Comeback – 31 percent
- Emerging Markets: No Internet, No Problem – 21 percent
- Air Distribution: As Clear as Mud – 31 percent
- Google-ITA: If Not Plan A, Then on to Plan B – 34 percent
- “Mobile” is Not a Trend – 47 percent
- Suppliers Get Smart About Smart Technologies – 30 percent
- Suppliers Claw Their Way Back – 21 percent
- Emerging Markets: Which Ones are Real? – 17 percent
- Private Sale: Flash of Brillance or Flash in the Pan? – 15 percent
- Tablet Wars Spark a Travel Revolution – 28 percent
PhoCusWright presenters included Carroll Rheem, director of research; Cathy Schetzina, director of communications and senior research analyst; Douglaa Quinby, senior director of research; and Ram Badrinathan, market analyst the Asia Pacific region.
Participants compared how 2010’s predicted travel trends played out, with 78 percent saying PhoCusWright was either spot on or mostly on target. Last year’s trends:
- A Restrained Recovery
- Online Travel Agencies Maintain Momentum
- Airline Optional Services – Ancillary No More
- Mobile Travel Bookings Become Reality
- Social Media Tops Agendas
- Getting Local: Mobile, Social and Search Converge
- Growing Pains Prompt Meta-morphosis
- Trip Planning Gets Personal
- Emerging Markets on the Radar
- Mapping Makes its Mark
How do you think PhoCusWright experts did in predicting 2010 trends, and what are your thoughts on their picks for 2011?
(There was a technical glitch with the recording of the webinar, but the company is working on rerecording the information, and a download of the transcript will be made available soon.)
Best and Worst of PhoCusWright @ ITB Berlin 2010
PhoCusWright/Akamai Study on Travel Site Performance
Goldman Sachs Investment Trends in Online Travel
Business Travel Trends from the AMEX-CFO Research Survey
(Photo credit: PhoCusWright)