Today the travel supply chain has become highly fragmented, crowded and complex with suppliers of hotel rooms, airline seats, tour packages and cars existing alongside intermediaries. Many of these intermediaries exist to offer travel product suppliers another and sometimes faster route to the end consumers. OTAs, GDSs, B2B Accommodation Wholesalers, Metasearch price comparison sites, branded dotcoms – all are part of the huge online travel market worth $313 billion in 2012 (according to PhoCusWright). The shopper for travel products is spoilt for choice both in the diversity of what is on offer and the myriad of online sites where he can go to make that purchase. But judging by the rising look-to-book ratios, making that choice easy with the needs and wants of the consumer in mind has not yet been achieved. The online travel shopper, spends more on travel products than in other online retail stores and is passionate about his travel plans and finding the best deal for him. His research gives him instant access to flight, hotel, and car-rental options and the ability to play suppliers off against one another. A high degree of search activity across multiple sites usually precedes every booking. Of course there will always be shoppers who are not satisfied until they have researched all options to assure themselves that they are getting the very best price available, but that can take up valuable time. For intermediaries and suppliers to be able to serve up more limited options, but ones that more accurately match demand will help both the shopper to turn that look into a booking and the intermediary to turn that search into a conversion. This empowerment of the consumer by the Internet is forcing travel companies to think more like retailers. This means learning to combine the data available on the products being searched for and bought with detailed knowledge of the customer, his situation and his preferences. Get the full story at Hospitality.net Download the white paper at Triometric