Big or Small?

image of Steve Kopandy
19 Feb 2020
Arion Hotel, Athens

Big or Small?

Two behemoths now control most of the third party brands that consumers use to book their travel. Expedia owns Orbitz, Travelocity and Hotwire, whilst Booking Holdings owns, Priceline and Kayak. What’s more, “Reserve with Google” is taking off and shaking up the travel booking landscape yet again. 

Confused? Not sure who is who, who owns who, what’s changed in the last two weeks, and where this is all going?

You’d be forgiven.

There was a time not so long ago when the travel giants took a very different form. They were on the high street. Then the accessibility and functionality of the internet changed everything. The first big revolution was the traveller’s ability to research for themselves a destination and all its offerings. This was the start of a new and very powerful direct sales channel for independent operators and brands. It looked like the gatekeepers were becoming redundant and a new wave of decentralised power was on the horizon.

But something big came along to disrupt this ‘democratisation’ of travel. That thing was big data. The giants are now tech companies. Algorithms can affect everything from targeted search results and re-marketing, through to the manipulation of payout and labour rates, which we are already seeing in other sectors.

In this session you will learn about ‘gamification’ in the marketing of travel products and services. We will look at the future of the ‘pay-to-play’ model, and why listing ‘darkening’ is being investigated and, in some cases, outlawed. We’ll also look at the future of small business marketing, the ever increasing impact of google MyBusiness listings and ads.

NOTE: As different speakers are confirmed, details of the sessions may change.