Who made travel so popular?

The internet is a great place to find a bargain. Who hasn’t saved £100 on a flat screen TV straight from a warehouse.

So is travel and accommodation the same? Online travel agents want the public to believe so. And they need accommodation providers to believe they’re behind the growth in tourism. It’s important for them to believe this, because without available accommodation the online travel agents have little to sell.  Maintaining this illusion is funded through 15% commission fees.

Who really popularised travel?  In the 70’s, Freddie Laker launched his no frills transatlantic carrier ‘Skytrain’. In 1982 Skytrain went spectacularly bankrupt. Competitors had conspired to compete on price to put Skytrain out of business which resulted in the largest aviation anti-trust case in history. The big boys settled out of court and they briefly got back to business as usual but soon the likes of Virgin Atlantic and later EasyJet came along and changed the air industry for ever.

Now we have the internet and not only is travel cheap it’s also just a click away. What’s more the earlier we book the better the price.  Therein lies the answer to our question – getting there is cheap. How do they do it? In the main they’re plain efficient, right down to  how the customer books. They work on a direct booking model. And when the customer books through an agent – the airline sure doesn’t pay 15% commission.

There’s no doubt that the online travel agents have played their part in facilitating the growth of tourism but the combination of high levels of disposable income and cheap travel is by far the vital catalyst. What the travel agents have used to their advantage is the way we shop online. Be on page 1 of a Google search and the sales follow, OTA’s exploit this by getting between the customer and the hotel to get their 15%.

What can accommodation providers do? BE BIG, just like an airline. Get together as one under a new model. LetsBookRooms is a new model, a global portal with no commission, it provides THE BIG. Pay a flat annual fee and take as many bookings as you want through your own online booking engine.

To finish here’s some food for thought to back up our argument. (Source Wikipedia, Tourism)

  • The developments in technology and transport infrastructure, such as jumbo jets, low-cost airlines and more accessible airports have made many types of tourism more affordable. WHO estimates that up to 500,000 people are on planes at any time –
  • The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) forecasts that international tourism will continue growing at the average annual rate of 4 %. With the advent of e-commerce, tourism products have become one of the most traded items on the internet. Tourism products and services have been made available through intermediaries, although tourism providers (hotels, airlines, etc.) can sell their services directly. This has put pressure on intermediaries from both on-line and traditional shops.

In short – More people are travelling, getting there is cheap and tourism providers are realising they can sell direct. Join the revolution, www.letsbookrooms.com.

Published on May 30th, 2010 Uncategorized


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