Web 2.0 business models for hotels and travel industry
Hotels and the travel industry have been amongst the first to embrace the web and ride the world wide web revolution. Over the past 5 years GDS systems have lost their predominance as more and more users turned to the web for do-it-yourself holidays.
These days I am talking to my Clients in the travel industry, mostly hotels in Tuscany. Over the years we have built up a stable work relationship and constant flow of information to and from them.
Every year I travel to Tuscany and visit them. We talk about the seasonal results, verify web site performance, and define activities for the new year.
You might find it interesting to know that hotels in Siena and Florence have experienced a drop in price due to:
- the economical crisis
- the increase in competition
The core business of a hotel is accommodation. But accommodation has become a click-and book activity the end user has learned to play very well and needs no intermediation.
Hotels play on as many tables as they possibly can, by placing their offers on a large number of portals.They are constantly monitoring competition and ready to drop prices in real time if and when necessary.
The use of online booking systems and hotel portals has increased the pressure on prices.
Hotel rooms are soon to become a commodity
There are many similarities between computer and hotel room pricing.
Hotels can now break this downward spiral (that will send many out of business sooner or later) introducing web 2.0 innovations. Blogs and social networks will shift the attention from prices to services.
I also expect a more integrated approach between hotels and the territory that will go beyond the free sale of hotel rooms.
This is what I am telling my Clients – what do you think web 2.0 will bring the travel industry ?