What lies ahead for travelers venturing out into the world in 2010? The APR blog is at the Phocuswright Travel conference in Orlando this week and we’ve heard presentations from the CEOs of Travelocity, Orbitz, and dozens of other high level leaders.
Among the tidbits of information we found out is that you’ll be seeing many more advertisements on these sites because that’s becoming a major part of their revenue stream. At one time on-line-travel sites never wanted to have links going off of their sites, but now, that’s all out the window. There’s just too much money they can make.
Another reason for the ads is the trend by on-line travel sites to give up charging booking fees. So many of them have seen consumers visit their sites to get the fare and schedule information and then visit the airlines to actually buy the tickets. The same has been true with hotels….so now Priceline, Orbitz, Travelocity and Expedia no longer charge hotel and airline ticket booking fees…and it’s affected their bottom line.
Another drain on Orbitz bottom line has been their promise to mail customers checks if they find a better deal on airfares. It’s gotten them a lot of good press, and made great TV ad content, but it costs millions. Despite this, Barney Harford, Orbitz baby-faced CEO said he’s confident that they are on the right track and said the there’s never been a more positive attitude and upbeat spirit at the big travel conglomerate.