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With Wikipedia shaking up online travel with WikiVoyage, things are already changing in this essential industry at the start of 2013. As travel becomes more and more accessable and more competitive, how marketing in this space has to become more savvy and customer centric.
Econsultancy reached out to a few industry professionals to see what they think about the future of travel in the upcoming year:
Tom Dibble, CEO Screen Pilot: Google will continue to disrupt and royally annoy the hospitality vertical that it has built over the years with it’s Google HotelFinder play. The business models behind HotelFinder basically make it Google's refined – albeit adolescent - meta hotel search play for 2012/13. It has a vested interest in scaling CPC revenues from OTAs and this means grabbing precious real-estate within SERPs, thus pushing down organic SERPs. Then from within HotelFinder, funnels the majority of traffic to OTAs. Conflict-of-interest or cash-grabbing nuisance for the hospitality vertical? The next few months will tell.
Mark Simpson, Founder and President, Maxymizer: In 2012, the travel industry saw more business move online (and to mobile) than ever before. In 2013, these online travel and mobile bookings will collide with another major industry force: a rebounding economy. As expendable income trickles back into the pockets of consumers, more travel sites will follow retailer’s lead in a well-tested and optimized web and mobile experience - because if they don't, they will rapidly fall behind the curve.
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