How can travel companies benefit more from user generated content?

Henry Harteveldt [Posted by Henry Harteveldt]

Hello again.

I'm wrapping up my report on why travelers post their ratings and reviews. This was the winning topic that we asked our eBusiness blog readers to vote on. Thanks again to those of you who voted.

The good news is that travelers are more likely to post content like ratings, reviews, and pictures on travel Web sites to share good news with their fellow travelers, rather than bad news. I hope that's because more travelers interact with travel firms that exceed their expectations, rather than travelers having low expectations and simply pleased that nothing went wrong. The reality is likely a mix of both.

If you're a travel eBusiness or marketing professional, I'd sincerely value your opinions about user generated content (UGC) -- primarily ratings and reviews -- for one simple reason. I want to be sure that we write the most useful possible report. Among the questions we'd appreciate your input on are:

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Travel social media: What vendors do you like?

Henry Harteveldt   [Posted by Henry Harteveldt]

Hi everyone,

A couple of weeks ago, we asked you to vote for what you'd like us to write on for our next travel eBusiness research report. The winning topic was "Why travelers write ratings and reviews." I'm working on that now -- which leads me to today's post.

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Introducing my new coverage area: eCommerce & Online Customer Service

Travel Email Customer Service Leaves Much To Be Desired

Diane Clarkson [Posted by Diane Clarkson]

When I speak with travel eBusiness professionals, it is clear that they value their customers and want this to be reflected throughout their online research to their travel experience.

Why then do travelers overwhelmingly feel that travel companies are failing to make them feel valued? Only 29% of online travelers believe travel companies are making strong efforts to make them feel valued.

I’ve wondered if there is simply a disconnection – that the best efforts of a dedicated marketing team can be thwarted by a weather delay, bad traffic, or a grumpy desk clerk.

We will be publishing a report shortly on making travelers feel valued. In the course of researching this report, I’ve paid a lot of attention to the how travel companies communicate. There is an old expression that the “devil is in the details”. I disagree. Sometimes the big picture is the accumulation of details.

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Hotel professionals: Your thoughts about 2010 can get you free Forrester research

Henry Harteveldt [Posted by Henry Harteveldt]

Hello again.

The global hotel industry is battling some tough times. To get a better idea of the industry's outlook for 2010 and the role you see distribution playing in your efforts, we're inviting hotel professionals to take a quick (10 minute) online survey. In exchange, we'll send you a complimentary summary of our findings after we complete gathering the data.

Who's eligible?

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How To Survive The Media Meltdown

The lead story on UK news bulletins this morning was the latest results from commercial broadcaster ITV. Two observations, even before we get into the detail of the story: big media companies, due to their prominent role in our lives, have a deep resonance with the public in ways that, say, a ball-bearing company, would never have; and the media meltdown— where traditional media business models based on scarcity and control are fundamentally challenged by the new realities of digital media consumption — is now high on the mainstream news agenda.

 The focus of today’s news is on ITV’s losses and the sale, at a knock-down price, of its social network Friends Reunited.  The broadcaster’s business model, heavily reliant on advertising revenues, leaves it exposed to this shift, whereas rival broadcaster (and major ITV shareholder) BSkyB has succeeded as a platform business, offering telephony and broadband alongside Pay TV. ITV has made the right noises about focusing now on its online video proposition and acquiring more of its own content to exploit. Neither will be easy, however, and successful execution will be the key here. ITV’s track record, looking at its failure to develop Friends Reunited (by no means a bad purchase at the time), is not great.

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Angry Online Travelers Consider Abandoning The Web

Henry Harteveldt Hello again everyone.

Our most recent research report, "Using Digital Channels To Calm Angry Travelers," has been getting a lot of attention.

To put it mildly, travelers are so angry with poor online travel experiences they're approaching a breaking point.

Check out the steady decline in the number of US online leisure travelers who enjoy using the Web to plan and book trips, and who feel that travel Web sites effectively present choices and trade-offs to them. These are critically important given the tepid economy and the increasingly complex way consumers are forced to buy travel. And now, notice how we see a small, but meaningful, increase in the number of people considering using offline travel agencies.

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