2010: What could and should happen
As the New Year begins, my mind lingers on the “should”, “could” and some potential hot topics for 2010.
What could happen… The more likely scenario is much less ambitious in nature. It’s pretty clear that we will see the online travel agents (OTAs) make further inroads in Asia and achieve another year of double-digit growth in 2010. Consumers have become good at shopping on the Internet and there are no signs that this enthusiasm is abating. In particular, we’re likely to see consumers turn to the OTA in growing numbers to purchase point-to-point air travel and short intra-Asia city breaks.
India will continue to lead the mCommerce space adding around 10 million new mobile phone subscribers every month. Travellers will begin to use mobile phones to pay for travel purchases, for flight notification, check-in and seat selection.
Airlines and hotels will see volumes pick up but will need to work hard to bring yields up to a meaningful level. After a year of pared down travel, corporations will once again tout the importance of face-to-face meetings. Company travel policies that were so carefully policed in 2009 will become more flexible but are unlikely to go back to the liberal pre-recession days. The appetite for luxury travel will grow as a new affluent generation of post-recession entrepreneurs from China, India, Mongolia, Indonesia and Vietnam enjoy life in the fast lane.
And what will be talked about in 2010 … Business metrics: ATK, RevPAR, yield and profitability. Merchandising for airlines and hotels will be hotly debated. The age of dynamic pricing and packaging will become more prevalent. Airport upselling and the use of self-service kiosks at Asian airports will become more popular.
And running parallel with the OTA space will be the increase in symantec search engines to combine the knowledge base of multiple Internet search engines for better comparison.
Mr. Simon Nowroz
President and managing director Asia-Pacific Travelport GDS
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