Posts tagged ‘Technology’
April 6, 2014
Examining Travel Trends is a fascinating exercise. Gleaning nuggets of wisdom is often fun to do. As I travel a far amount – I am not likely to be your typical traveller. However there are trends that support what one can intuitively feel.
For some time I have been watching the decline of the domestic market travellers. On face value this trend was driven in most part by the high cost of fuel. In general many believe that the high cost of both gasoline and aviation fuel have slowed growth of domestic travel (both leisure and business). However there are other trends which are fueling the decline in growth.
The following chart shows the disparity between domestic and international growth rates in accommodation 2002-2023. (From the Oxford Economics/Amadeus Travel Trends 2014. http://blogamadeus.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/AmadeusTravelTrends.pdf).
In my view there are multiple factors driving this trend, here are my take on these:
- Hassle factor – short haul traffic is not fun. In all regions of the world the ability to travel at all has created a barrier to entry that just makes short haul travel – well not nice.
- Technology reduces the need. Desktop communications such as Skype and Join.Me has dramatically reduced the need for direct face to face travel in total but particularly for short haul. Desktop small meetings have also reduced the need for these to take place. This may seem counter intuitive to the need for increased meetings (yes you know what I mean).
- Unmetered (free) mobile communication tools the emergence of such tools as WhatsApp, Wechat, Line etc etcmeans that the small meeting market has become itself mobile
- Yes men can actually multi-task. We have all learned the skill of multi-tasking.
- Consolidation and Concentration in the air transportation sectors. Domestic and International is now an oligopoly. This has resulted in far higher costs per travel unit
- Congestion and poor shorthaul traffic infrastructure and lack of efficient medium haul public transport. (See also #1)
- Cost per unit of each travel component. Hotel, Air, Ground, Meals etc etc
- Peer to Peer travel products such as AirBnb, Uber et al. While I personally find these services to be illegal or unreliable – the other factors make these attractive.
I think its important to recognize that when we are looking at the long view – be careful with short term data trends.
December 29, 2012
Each year the team at TNooz does a series of predictions. This coming year the focus is on Mobile, surprising since I think we are already there. It is one of the most popular series the team does.
But how well did we do for 2012? The TNooz predictions for 2012 were not that bad. But in the interests of a true public service – perhaps a bit of self flagellation is in order.
First what did I predict?
1. User experience hits home
I predict that the current dissatisfaction with user experience with travel brands on the web will accelerate in 2012. In fact, I believe that we will start using the term “consumer fatigue”.
This will have a massive impact on web search and shopping for other products, but it will hit travel hard as the current processes and widget-based explicit interaction are really rather awful.
2. Cash for cache
The process of availability cache creation will start to cause significant issues. Owners of inventory will effectively start charging for the access to an “approved” state of availability.
This will cause significant problems for the metasearch or search companies in the travel industry
HOW DID I DO
1. User Experience. Oh yes. Decidedly this has happened. Some hard data shows that users are moving away from the conventional UX particularly in mobile. Mobile search has also proved to be an obstacle to “sellers” and users alike. I will give myself 7/10 marks for this one. It is a slow burn and one that will happen over time. The problem is that the manifestation of it will come in different ways. While its not cited as the reason – I believe that a large part of IATA’s NDC effort has now focused on the Users ability to provide information via the intermediary channel to the supply community.
The issue of handling the ocean of data and how we access it is not going to get easier. Big Data tools are slowly making it better but we still have no trust (or rather not enough trust) in what we are seeing. Essentially we dont trust machine results enough to rely on them.
2. The battle over cache, Again a behind the scenes battle and one that will continue for a long time. Part of the problems with transactional sites is that they need to work on cache for performance. As users have little to no trust in the results anyway – web site performance matters more than accuracy and quality of results. Its logical. If the site doesn’t perform fast enough then users bail out of the process and click away before even analyzing the results. In the case of the airlines – this is endemic driven by the airlines’ need for obfuscation of the price. In the case of hotels – it is natural given the complexity and multiple models of the accommodation market. However I will only give myself 5/10 for this one. Its there but I can’t demonstrate that it has proved to be as important as I think. Trust me though behind the scenes this one is a 9/10.
So how will I do in 2013? A good question. Let’s see.
November 26, 2012
An article from McClatchy newspapers has appeared today across the USA extolling the benefits of the “App Economy”. Headline writers are salivating over words like “Sizzles” and “Hot”. However there is a real problem with this focus.
The sad truth is that Mobile Apps and now anything that used to be called an Application is being managed in a manner that cares little as to the value of what is being produced.
Metrics that count Apps as a requirement for a higher social score/ranking are just ludicrous (and I don’t mean the rapper either). So everyone jumping into Apps is a cautionary take of jumping and not thinking. The APP economy is simply nuts.
Have a read of my article in TNooz and then think very carefully if you want to bet the farm on developing Apps.