IN OTHER NEWS:
An independent contractor’s
use of his own credit card
should raise a red flag.
Reporting on the Concordia, the
media acted like bullies with
THE NATIONAL NEWSPAPER OF THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY
APRIL 9, 2012
The tortoise emirate
Though long overshadowed
by glittery Dubai as a travel
destination, Abu Dhabi is
determined to show the
world that the largest
emirate is best in class.
[ AN OPPORTUNITY FOR AGENTS ]
By Danny King and Johanna Jainchill
BY KENNETH KIESNOSKI
Growing consumer dissatisfaction with online travel agencies (OTAs) and suppliers’
websites offers traditional agents and agencies an opportunity to pick up market share,
according to a recent IBM report.
In an executive report titled “Travel 2020:
The Distribution Dilemma,” IBM researchers
said that fewer than half of leisure and business travelers believe they’re getting a fair
value for their travel dollar when they book
The reason for this, the report’s authors
determined, is that most online travel intermediaries misread their customers by focusing primarily on price instead of value.
‘The disassembly of the
travel agent model has also
resulted in a decrease in
A Q&A with British PM, tourism pitchman
How high are the stakes for tour- ism in the Unit- ed Kingdom this year? Consider
this: The last time a sitting
prime minister was personally involved in promoting
British tourism was during
the hoof-and-mouth crisis in 2001.
Editor in Chief
ed travel media from around the
globe to come to the U.K. to see
for themselves that all was well.
He made time to personally speak
with reporters, including Travel
editor in chief.
This past fall,
Minister David Cameron made
stops in New York, Paris and other
major international markets to help launch
VisitBritain’s new “GREAT Britain” promo-
His high visibility as a pitchman for his
country prompted me to request an inter-
view with him when he was in Washington
last month. I received a reply that his sched-
ule was packed, but would I be interested in
doing an email interview with him?
FROM THE WINDOW SEAT
At the time, tourism dropped through
the floor, and a concerned Tony Blair invit-
I did ask if I would truly be corresponding
with the prime minister, or with his press staff.
Moreover, that satisfaction level could
drop further in the next few years as a new
crop of overseas travelers enters the market.
The study suggests that traditional agents,
by providing the kind of personalized customer service that is lacking with OTAs and
on supplier sites, can pick up market share as
travel spending continues to rebound.
Of the more than 2,000 business and lei-
sure travelers surveyed by the IBM Institute
for Business Value and its research partner,
Frost & Sullivan, 47% said their travel ex-
penses were “well spent.”
Predictably, bargain-hunters, a group IBM
labeled “perpetual searchers,” were among
the least satisfied group of travelers, while
customers willing to pay for upgrades and
particular perks, which the report labeled
See IBM REPOR T on Page 47