‘Dynamic and unpredictable,’ was how Del Ross, the chairperson of this week’s EyeforTravel North America, and a senior advisor to McKinsey, described the travel industry in the ‘weird year’ just gone.
Ross, who yesterday opened the Las Vegas conference, which is now into its 20th year, said there had been some unexpected developments since last year's event.
Two sectors in travel - the car rental firms and traditional travel agencies – that had been labelled ‘outdated’ seemed to be making a comeback, he said. And in another ironic twist, the dominance of Google’s increasingly monopolistic meta-model, was leading travel suppliers to cheer on a crowd that weren’t all that long ago labeled the ‘big bad OTAs’! (Watch out for an upcoming Google analysis on EyeforTravel.com next week).
It was fitting then that the opening address was from a major travel supplier – Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. Barry Goldstein, the company’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer, called for continued disruption in the sector. In the opening keynote delegates heard that Wyndham’s eye is on the ‘travelling class’, the so-called millennial generation, which would help the middle class to double in the next five years.
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