Disrupting the Old Order: Five Trends Affecting Travel, the World's Largest Business

By Mike Kistner President, Chief Executive Officer & Chairman of the Board, Pegasus Solutions | April 01, 2012

The 2011 holiday season incited strong holiday travel, especially during the last week of the month and most notably over New Year's Eve. Booking performance was solid even though it had a tough time matching the robust global levels achieved last year, and December's reservations surpassed 2010 levels in many markets, remaining greater globally than 2009, 2008 and even 2007. Average daily rates were the star of the show, rising in the corporate and leisure sectors, and reaching new record growth over last year in many leisure markets. Overall, 2011 was a year of major progress for reservations and rates.

Travel is expected to slowly but surely continue on its road to recovery through 2012, shifting gears as it encounters inevitable bumps along the way. Throughout 2012, it will be exciting to monitor how new and ongoing industry trends influence travel in the new year and the opportunities they will unleash.

Independent hotels, mobile adoption, distribution, hotel merchandising and partnerships/integration/alliances played key roles during 2011. So which trends will help shape travel in 2012? There are many, but the following five are especially important:

Mobile

Mobile adoption is accelerating in terms of the number of users researching or managing travel. Some industry reports are predicting a climb in the number of US consumers using mobile for travel research from 19.7 million in 2010 to 29.7 million in 2012. The number of guests expected to start booking travel via mobile is projected to double to 15.1 million in 2012.

It's clear that mobile is a critical extension of your hotel's distribution network on the Internet. And six months from now, there will be even more diversity in the number of devices and operating systems you will have to consider in your mobile strategy. There are products not yet in existence that will be thriving a year from now, which means your hotel or hotel group cannot be satisfied because you've done a good job with one device.

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