By Martin Kelly, Editor, Travel Trends

Just a few weeks ago, I wrote these words: Optimism rather than pessimism was the prevailing mood at TRAVELtech … delegates adopted a business as usual attitude despite society’s generally downbeat economic mood.”

Many things, most of them bad, have happened since then. It’s now accepted as fact, whether it is or not, that this is the worst financial mess since the Great Depression.

So, given that the world has changed (again) what would I write if the conference had been held just last week? “Pessimism prevailed at a grim TRAVELtech … delegates adopted a downbeat attitude etc.”

But I’d be wrong, again – plenty of delegates would still be optimistic relative to the rest of society. Why? It’s human nature and because they work in the online travel space.

In fact, there’s a school of thought, untested to be sure, that consumers will turn to the online travel channel in times of financial hardship (which is now) in the belief they’ll find better deals.

We’ll see, but it’s hard to ignore the logic. The online channel is just a decade old and, like any 10-year-old, will keep growing no matter what. So don’t worry, be happy. That is, if you have a clear online strategy. Travel Trends: October 15, 2008

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