A STUDY from Forrester Consulting, commissioned by Amadeus, shows that revenue from non-core services will grow more than 30% over the next five years for major travel suppliers such as airline, rail, cruise and hotel operators. The study is based on quantitative research with 67% of respondents drawn from travel brands that generate annual revenues in excess of US$1 billion. The study found that third-party revenue is likely to represent 2.5% of total provider income by 2015 – or US$25 million for a US$1 billion company.
“While traditional third-party services such as insurance, car rental and hotel room sales are expected to remain popular, travel providers see great potential in a range of ‘extreme’, as yet unexploited, products and services. By 2020, more than half of travel providers (54%) expect to offer virtual reality services that can help passengers experience airports, hotels and cruise ships before arrival, digital concierges to improve the in-hotel or airport experience (80%) and in-journey spa treatments (37%).
“Travel providers expect future services to be shaped by a combination of macro-trends with mobile having the greatest impact (81% believe it very important) and the rise in travel to-and-from emerging economies is also viewed as important (59% believe it either important or very important).
“Although respondents recognise the limitations of mobile’s effectiveness to sell third-party services today, ranking it behind traditional channels such as airline ticket offices and hotel front desks, they expect a dramatic increase in importance over the next five years.
“Driven by the increasing penetration of smartphones and tablet devices, as well as the industry’s desire to develop more flexible selling capabilities travel providers believe mobile will be a very close second to websites in terms of effectiveness to sell third-party services by 2015. Increasingly mobile will be a primary channel for the sale of third-party services beyond the booking stage.”