Flashes from No Vacancy conference yesterday. 2010 looking like another winnner for online travel agents while suppliers bouncing back though no-one really has any clear idea of trends. Summed up by Accor boss Simon McGrath who was confident of a solid year overall for the 150 property group but said would be patchy when you drill down. Said GFC knocked pricing back to 2006 levels but rate recovery would be much faster this cycle – a ‘V’ rather ‘U’. Rejected suggestion it could be a ‘W’. Channel shift – from GDS to web – big topic through the day, accelerating. Star Ratings, official and social, also in for a lot of comment, all of it negative. Clearly no-one is happy with present AAA Tourism rated system, which is in for an overhaul. Online from Hitwise showed that still less people visiting travel sites than pre-GFC, an interesting contradiction with outstanding performance from all accommodation websites. Anyway, that’s it for now. More news soon.
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