There are very few other products being sold online that have as much emotional pulling power as a holiday. A vacation is the stuff of dreams, but also of detailed ongoing research and of high capital outlay. For many families, the most they will spend on a single item in a typical year is the purchase of their annual holiday.
TripAdvisor is the largest travel site on Earth. Its statistics are staggering. In Q3 2015, it reported reaching 350 million unique monthly visitors. It has more than 290 million reviews and opinions, covering more than 5.3 million accommodations, restaurants, and attractions.
The world is inexorably moving away from broadcast television. In days of old, viewers across the country would sit down together in their tens of millions to watch the most popular TV programmes of the time.
After 10 years plus, I am putting my hobby website, travelfromHere.com, up for sale. Take a look and you will see that it is a very straightforward directory of websites aimed at UK travellers. It is rather like Yahoo! was in its first incarnation.
Some news in the last few days has reminded me of one of the subjects I was addressing at my World Travel Market seminar back in 2010. The news is that Thomas Cook has signed up with online reputation management company TrustYou which will use its online reputation management tool to monitor all online reviews written worldwide.
The world economy is projected to be about 80% larger in 2020 than it was in 2000. World total population will increase from 7 to 8.3 billion people in 2030. Asia, Africa, and Latin America will account for virtually all population growth over the next 20 years. The middle class is expected to reach 5 billion people by 2031, up from 2.1 billion people in 2011. The world is changing. At the Summit, Richard Lewis, CEO Best Western Hotels, distinguished between Digital Immigrants and Digital Natives.
How extensive does a news item need to be to seriously dampen or kill inbound tourism? A tsunami may or may not affect a whole coast line, bush fires might be limited to a few areas, riots may only be breaking out in the capital city? On the news, though, it may look like a whole country is in trouble.