The (R)evolution of Search in Travel


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With travel industry consolidation, the rise of metasearch, and increasingly tech-savvy consumers, search has never played a more important role within the travel industry.

This webinar, produced by Tnooz and Travelport, examined the evolution of the search landscape and how changes driven by consumer behavior, expectations, and attitudes combined with advances in technology are driving improved search and what your business needs to stay competitive today and into the future.

This 60-minute discussion looks at:

Industry trends, evolution of search and the new search landscape ahead.
Why search is important and how it is driving a better customer experience on supplier and intermediary websites.

The presenters for the webinar are:

Shelley Beasley – chief operating officer, Webjet.
Michael Wake – product director, Travelport.

Published in: Technology, Business
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  • U.S. online leisure airline passengers research their trips on a wide array of channels. Heading a list of the top 10 channels, according to the study, are: General search engines (74%), Supplier websites (71%), Retail online travel agencies (62%), Suggestions from family/friends (56%), Online travel destination guides such as NileGuide (44%), Travel review sites such as TripAdvisor (42%), Travel portals such as Yahoo Travel (41%), Online articles (38%), Phoning a supplier’s toll-free number (38%), and Travel agency opaque sites such as Hotwire (35%).“Our research shows that a typical booker will use nine of the 30 categories we asked about,” says Henry Harteveldt, co-founder and chief research officer of Atmosphere Research Group. “Factor in the multiple options within each group, and they're certainly using a wider range of tools to find flight and other travel information.”
  • Impact of Google… yet unknown. G have publically announced that they are not looking to become a travel agentLeveraging the assets landed in the ITA acquisition – launched Google Flights for US domestic travelPre-computed solutions for selected markets – integrity is good, speed is phenomenalContent is variable, not as robust as full interline capabilities delivered by OTAs – not as price competitiveAirline consolidation reduces seat availability as merged airlines rationalize route networks, cut costs. Pushes up fares, rising prices even on airline contracts and dissuading extremely price sensitive customers purchasing via OTAs.Higher fares make it harder to satisfy price-sensitive customers, increasing the importance of effective search tools to route out the most inexpensive travel solutions – however exotic and complex.Airlines also tightening the reigns on distribute costs – closely monitoring L2B ratios, terminating non-productive distribution relationships and aggressively promoting new ways to distribute and sell air product… but is that merely shifting the burden of cost from the airline to the agency?
  • Option 1 for Webjet overview.Shelley to use as discretion.
  • So the intersting bits about Webjet are what drive our strategy.Our first pillar is #! In AirIn order to maintain our Air dominance, we will continue to development of Webjet platform for Air on mobile and ipad. We have a good start with the iphone app-but will moving to an HTML 5 site by the end of the year –with hotels integration on the platform closely following.We know we have to be everywhere a consumer wants to buy, and our data is showing that by June next year, over 25% of all our seraches will be coming from a mobile platform.#2 – Unprecendented hotel dealsAs mentioned before- we are in a very odd position whereby we sell a disporporatione amount of air. So as of 6 weeks ago- we have soft launched a new hotel platform- doing what we think we do best- which is aggregating content. In this case – we are aggregating the hotel content from 5 suppliers in order to provide the most robust inventory available in the market. Over 100k hotels globally• Over 100,000 global hotels.• Year round inventory.• Over one million hotel rooms on sale every night.• A unique aggregation of supply from some of the world’s largest internet distributors ofhotels including Orbitz, Expedia, GTA, Tourico and Hotelbeds.• A blended hotel income margin to Webjet in excess of 12%, and• All of this content is supplemented with user reviews from the world’s largest onlinetravel community, TripAdvisor#3 -Global Expansion – USA about 18 months ago- and very satisfied with the results with a profit being turned in 2 of the last 4 months.We launched HKG in Feb and Sin in March and that is a much longer processes…but again – we are pleased with the results.As development of our American and Asian businesses continues to gain traction, the underlyingcore business is demonstrating increased profit growth and economy of scale which is currentlyproviding sufficient head room to effectively fund the emerging businesses including the hotelproject, without diluting shareholder return, and therefore continues to build a strong strategicplatform for future growth.The underlying businness is primarily AU air- which is why we are so focused on using the right product to keep that engine churning
  • Travelport e-Pricing™ technology has revolutionized the worldwide travel shopping experience. It is built upon the first multi-server based shopping technology in the global distribution system (GDS) industry. It allows travel agencies, corporate travel buyers and online shoppers to shop, price and book low fares faster and more accurately than ever before. ·          Shop across millions of published, negotiated, web and advertised fares and hundreds of thousands of itinerary options in seconds with just one simple entry. This removes the need to log into different systems or web sites which ensures customers get the information & choice they expect·          Receive a convenient combined display of ready-to-book itineraries, direct to a desktop with the ability to provide from 25 up to 350 of the best available options ·          Valuable option to shop for low fares prior to booking an itinerary or shop the lowest available fares worldwide for an existing itinerary ·          Ensure accuracy on all ticketed low fares, with automatically validated rules on worldwide itinerary pricing, ticketing and accurate taxes Carriers that didn’t return on the original shopping platform did so with Travelport e-Pricing – JET AIRWAYS, AEROLINEAS ARGENTINAS, ASIANA AIRLINES, CHINA AIRLINES are examples. This meant better fares returned with more options for consumers.e-Pricing allowed unique multi carrier itineraries to be returned, giving customers more choiceCheaper available routes were returned, instead of the usual direct options. e-pricing returned non traditional stopovers, especially in Australia, to uncover cheaper fares.The introduction of diversity and unique fares in a single shopping transactions allowed Webjet to reduce the shopping manipulation saving staff time and shopping transaction.The analysis prior to deployment of e-Pricing with Webjet (compared to the existing shopping platform) identified e-Pricing returned equal or better fares 99% of the time.Ensureing that we have the greatest range of content available – with the most optimal choices available to meet our
  • The (R)evolution of Search in Travel

    1. 1. The (R)evolution of Search 22 March 2012
    2. 2. Kevin May,Tnooz editor / moderator
    3. 3. Our panelistsMichael Wake Shelley BeasleyTravelport Webjet
    4. 4. Poll no. 1
    5. 5. Poll no. 2
    6. 6. The (R)evolution of SearchTnooz-Travelport Webinar22 March 2012
    7. 7. Who searches…?… all traveller types are looking for the best price for their trip!
    8. 8. Where are travellers searching…? Top 10 US Traveller Search Channels 80 70 60 50 % of Travellers 40 30 20 10 0• Outside Top 10: Visiting a travel agency (15%)8 Source: Atmosphere Research Group, Q4 2011
    9. 9. Mobile Penetration in Flight Search US Mobile-Empowered Travellers • The mobile revolution is60 altering the way leisure and business travellers shop for50 travel products and services40 • Business travellers, often delivering higher yields to30 Leisure airlines and travel agencies Business are frequent early adopters20 • Clearer emphasis on mobile10 search platforms that are compatible with a wider range0 of devices is key to satisfying Research Flight Options Make Flight Reservations Change Flight Reservations the most desirable customers9 Source: PhocusWright Traveller Technology Survey, 2011
    10. 10. 2011: Heralding changes in search• New players emerged in the consumer travel arena… … including the worlds‟ largest marketing agency• Airlines consolidate in the face of rising costs : • Delta, United, BA now BA acquiring bmi • Higher fares driven by schedule reduction, oil prices • Closer monitoring of distribution costs – GDS, BSP, L2B ratios
    11. 11. The (continued) Rise of Metasearch• Metasearch is a valuable marketing channel for online agencies where consumer loyalty is fragile and competition focuses on price – Conversion rates are may be lower than direct visitor traffic – Comparison engines spawn multiple queries, driving volumes
    12. 12. Search and Buying Decisions Recognize Pricing Need Decision Complete Information e-Pricing Fares andTransaction Search Responses Inventory Evaluate Channel Alternatives Distribution ACCURACY CHOICE INSPIRATION LOWEST FARES SPEED RELEVANCE12
    13. 13. Inspire me!• An assumption that shoppers visit websites with a clear idea of what they are searching for is no longer valid…. many seek inspiration Around 43% of travellers in the UK are inspired by results from search engines and the same number used them directly for destination information Total Insight: Social Travel, Total Media, Jan 2010 OTAs are being consulted way beyond the levels of actual booking, suggesting that they are not just seen as a place to book but also to research, get ideas and become inspired Total Insight: Social Travel, Total Media, Jan 2010
    14. 14. Inspire me… on destination• Satisfy curiosity with fast, accurate searches across wide geography – Search by radius, country, region to serve up recommendations14
    15. 15. Inspire me… on dates!• Deliver sight into the cheapest times to travel to stimulate conversion – Simple, price-driven data that does not compromise on accuracy of result is critical in satiating consumer demand for broad search15
    16. 16. Search… for what I want! Traveller Frustration with TMI• Relevant content is key factor 60 in converting „lookers‟ into „bookers‟ 50• Retail portals have matured content relevance faster than 40 travel 30 – Delivery of „customized‟ 20 content based on traveller profile 10 – Simplify buying experience, avoid 0 overwhelming with options Russia India Brazil Germany United Kingdom United StatesSam’s Club has begun experiment with eValues – specific deals related to ashoppers’ buying history. eValues are seeing uptake in the 20-30% range.Martin Andrew, New York Times (2010) Source: PhocusWright Empowering Inspiration: The Future of Travel Search
    17. 17. Search… using words or voice?• A simple search and purchase experience is emerging as a key differentiator for travel retail suppliers• Proliferation of mobile voice apps could rapidly condition consumers to search from voice commands• Free-text (semantic) search is now standard for most other types of online search functionality…17
    18. 18. Poll no. 3
    19. 19. Poll no. 4
    20. 20. A Customer PerspectiveShelley BeasleyChief Operating Officer, Webjet Ltd
    21. 21. Search and Webjet About Webjet • Webjet is Australia and New Zealand‟s largest online travel agency. Leading the way in online travel tools and technologies, Webjet enables customers to search, compare and book the best domestic and international flight deals, travel insurance, car hire and hotel accommodation. • Webjet has been a partner of Travelport since 2003 • Webjet operates in Australia, New Zealand, North America and most recently Hong Kong and Singapore.
    22. 22. Market Share Leader – Hitwise #1 for 3 1/2 Years
    23. 23. Interesting Facts About Webjet• Webjet charges fees for its air booking services, and in fact charges the highest fees in market, with many high visibility competitors promoting a “no fee” structure.• Unlike most Global OTAs, we currently sell a highly disproportionate amount of Air Product• In a market where the total growth is in single digits, Webjet announced 29% TTV growth and 21% profit growth for the 1st Half to the 31st of December 2011..• Webjet has the #1 Travel app in market
    24. 24. Our priorities
    25. 25. Webjet release of e-Pricing International flight engine has been powered by Travelport e-Pricing since 13th October 2010 after a deployment project of 5 months. • Greater carrier diversity e-pricing 1% • Unique multi carrier itineraries returned higher • 50% reduction in shopping e-pricing transactions 43% returned lower ― Lower look to book ratios ― Improved efficiency e-pricing • e-Pricing meets or beats 99% fares matched 57% returned by previous shopping platform… e-Pricing Results
    26. 26. Webjet release of e-Pricing Increased revenue from 29% increase in GDS growth in International - bookings January – Sept 10 with new carriers being Compared to sold and new itineraries January – September 2011 surfaced Source: Webjet Full Year Results 2010-11
    27. 27. Webjet’s Future of Search• Any time, any where, any platform!• Continued acquisition of content• Voice• Personalization
    28. 28. Copyright©2011 Travelport. All rights reserved. All Travelport logos and marks as well as allother Travelport property materials depicted herein are the property of Travelportand/or its affiliates. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.Notes About Examples:All screen examples and other inserts associated with system output are provided forillustration purposes only. They are provided as illustrative examples of systemfunctionality and are not meant to represent actual screen responses, rates, etc.28
    29. 29. Q&A
    30. 30. Thank You!Webinar replay will be available on Please send questions and comments to Kevin May,