We can all see and feel how the Internet is reshaping and reinventing the way we do things. We’re switching our newspaper subscription from paper to the iPad, we’re watching movies on YouTube and Netflix while letting the TV collect dust and checking the weather on our Android or even asking iPhone’s genie, Siri, instead of looking outside the window.
The way we travel is also influenced by a series of actors who help us plan our trip, search for the best prices, book hotels and hire cars, read reviews of venues and services or provide the necessary tools to leave feedback and share our holiday experiences.
We tried to include all these websites and apps in this Online Travel Ecosystem infographic. Have we missed your favourite app or website? Leave a comment below letting us know why you love it.
Planning: Part of the process in which the user chooses the destination and decides where he’s going to travel to and when.
Research: The user searches and compares for the best offers for the destination or destinations chosen.
Metasearch: The user gets combined results from a variety of search engines, not just Google, Yahoo or Bing.
Booking: Having decided on the option that best meets his or her needs, the traveller makes his or her purchase through one of the following agents:
- Online travel agencies. They are also involved in the planning stage because they offer different travel options and routes. They give the user the possibility to combine flights, hotels, car rentals, etc..
- Direct sales. The user makes a booking directly with the supplier of the service, in this case airlines or hotels.
- Private Sale. The private sale companies offer you special offers and discounts for their members on holidays and vacations and experiences. To take advantage of these offers you must have received an invitation from a person who is a member of this sort of online clubs.
- Group buy. Pages that are able to offer products and services at discounted prices if these are purchased by a number of people. In the last year have also added trips to their range of offerings.
- Peer to Peer. There are websites where individuals rent their apartment or a room in their house and are directly contacted by other interested travellers.
During Travel: downloadable guides and audio-guides on smartphones which allow systems to read real-time advice from other tourists who have visited the same place, etc.
Sharing experiences. More and more pages allow users to share their experiences which can then be useful to other travelers. For example, on the eDreams website you can find customer reviews on companies and on all routes, tips on hotels or restaurants, places to visit etc.
Travel Inspiration. The same reviews, blogs etc. written by others can serve as inspiration when you’re choosing the destination for your next trip, ending the circle.