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Amateur-Expert Traveler Guide Optimistic in Face of Recession

February 26, 2010 By: George Dooley

The current recession will clear the way for a fresh burst of innovation in the travel industry, according to Ian Wheeler, group vice president of marketing and distribution for Amadeus, in a new study: "The Amateur-Expert Traveler." The report is available free to travel agents.

“We have tried to look beyond the immediate devastation of the credit crisis and ensuing global recession, to the future,” Wheeler said. “We have tried to look at the trends and innovations which might flourish in the post-recessionary environment. Recessions—and even depressions—do not always smother innovation as much as we are sometimes told. Hewlett-Packard, Geophysical Service (now Texas Instruments), Polaroid and Revlon all started during the Great Depression; Microsoft and The Gap Limited were founded during more recent recessions. Indeed, in some ways, recessions make starting new businesses easier—there is a larger number of talented people looking for work, suppliers are more open to negotiation and customers may be more open to trying a new product or service that promises cost savings.”

In this report, Amadeus describes three broad trends influencing the travel industry today—increasingly expert customers, the ever more technological trip experience and the growth of “niche” travel—that Amadeus believes are being accelerated by the current downturn.

To reach these findings, Amadeus interviewed 30 leading executives and thought-leaders in the travel industry and polled 2,719 travel professionals worldwide about a series of key trends in the travel industry. Amadeus then conducted extensive desk research to understand how these trends might be affected by the recession. 

Key Conclusions

The amateur-expert traveler: The Internet has put much more information at the fingertips of the average traveler—whether from professionally produced content or user reviews and other social media. With business and personal budgets squeezed, the incentive to put all that knowledge to good use has never been greater.

The responsive journey: Technology has improved the booking experience immeasurably but the trip itself remains ripe for technological innovation. Such innovation may be provided by talented executives using the recession as an opportunity for a change in direction,.

All niches great and small: Travel companies will increasingly look at opportunities in travel niches or selling niche travel services or additional offer opportunities for additional revenue as well as higher margins for in-depth expert advice. Just as forest fires form an important part of the regeneration process, we believe that the current recession will clear the way for a fresh burst of innovation in the travel industry.

Visit to download a free copy of the report.

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