Lastminute.com released an interesting report this week that revealed Britons spent more money on ‘in-home’ leisure than travel the last few years. Travel experts are concerned that the internet is breeding a generation of ‘no where gamers’. Instead of travel and out-of-home leisure, the younger generation could follow the suit of the Japanese and turn their back on out-of-home leisure in favour of gaming, social networking, and ‘always on’ media.
To keep business alive, the travel industry knows it needs to make ‘real life’ experiences more interactive, innovative and engaging.
If they harness the power of the web and social in the right way, I think the future holds a load of potential for the travel industry.
Social networking has made the world a ‘smaller’ place. I’ve connected with people all over the globe who are into the ‘niche’ things I’m into. In fact, I’m looking at booking a trip to France to hang out with fellow vintage clothing fanatics later in the year.
Savvy travel agents/tour operators can mine social media platforms for potentially profitable ‘niche’ audiences to build package tours around.
I think the travel industry should also look at applications like Gowalla and Foursquare and develop their own applications to encourage global travel. I know Gowalla and Foursquare have encouraged my group of friends to explore our local hot spots.
What do you think?