You would think that the travel industry knew a thing or two about Internet marketing. After all, many people now book flights, holidays and other travel online, rather than in traditional travel agencies or booking offices. However, the latest “Online Retail Holiday Readiness Report” from WebTrends shows that only 23% will not be using price as a means of generating online revenue. In other words, what that means is that 77% of online holiday companies will be using price as their strategy. This is at the same time as the Internet is full of activity on social networking, blogging, and other forms of interactivity. What people want is some kind of relationship with the web site they use. Study after study has shown that price is not the main issue for someone wishing to buy something – particularly something like a holiday. I remember hearing a few years ago that the average profit made per holidaymaker by tour operators was a mere £1 – on the average holiday price of around £500. If that’s all they can make, they must be doing something wrong. Now I know; they are solidly focused on price, as their web strategy for 2007 shows. This time next year, they’ll be doing a post-mortem on the previous 12 months and wondering why so many holiday makers went “independent” following advice and tips from people on social networking sites. Ho hum.
If you are a “big change” business, then you are like my garden fence. Leaving it unpainted for so long has created much more work, at a higher cost, than if it had been tended to every year. Ignoring reviews of your online activity for long periods also means you make more work for yourself and raise your costs.