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PhoCusWright Examines Changing Industry DynamicsApril 27, 2011 By: George Dooley Travel Agent
Today’s consumers connect all the time, wherever they are, to a staggering array of networks and information, according to PhoCusWright. The research firm recently offered its perspective on understanding today’s travel market given the increasingly digital marketplace.
“Shrinking screens—smartphones, tablets, e-readers and GPS systems—have gone mainstream, and the ever-advancing technology that fuels them is now always with us, in our cars, backpacks and jacket pockets,” according to PhoCusWright. “Whether walking around the corner or flying across the globe, travelers today connect instantly, at will, in a multitude of ways.”
The Speed of Smart
With so much connectivity among today’s consumers, PhoCusWright emphasized the importance of immediacy in terms of travel marketing.
“ … The accelerated pace of innovation and technology is constantly raising the bar. Today’s intelligent technology means our everyday devices know where we are and what we like. Location-based tools and robust digital identities create opportunities for delivering relevant content, personalized deals and flash offers… making any travel marketer drool … Keep up, speed up or step aside,” said PhoCusWright.
To Boldly Go
Because travelers have so much more unprecedented access to information, travel companies must also learn to engage with their customers as never before, advised PhoCusWright.
“Undaunted by geographical and cultural chasms, people from everywhere are going everywhere, often to places they’ve never considered before. It’s a not-so-strange new world, and the industry must engage with more knowledgeable, culturally-aware customers on the go,” said PhoCusWright.
Travel’s New Point of No Return
PhoCusWright also addressed the danger of direct connects, optional services and new merchandising models that threaten to harm traditional travel distribution platforms.
“Airlines and other suppliers have always sought greater control over their product, lower costs and fewer impediments between them and their customers,” said PhoCusWright. “Now, they are more confident than ever, and technically capable of implementing bold strategies. Direct connects, optional services and new merchandising models threaten the distribution dogma, and there’s no turning back.”
To address travelers’ increasing connectivity, the firm is hosting an upcoming conference, “Travel Unleashed: Any, Every, Always” from Nov. 15-17 in Hollywood, FL. The conference is meant to equip travel companies with the knowledge to be able to attract and retain customers given today’s rapid advances in technology.