The online travel industry is missing out on an opportunity to engage customers on an emotional level, according to Lastminute.com chairman, Brent Hoberman.
Speaking at the Travolution summit yesterday, Hoberman suggested that the industry could be working harder to personalise content and present it in a clear, accessible way.
He said: “None of the travel websites do what we want yet. We are not giving them all the information and we’re not making it easy for them to find.”
Hoberman pointed to the success of review site Trip Adivsor and online community MySpace, both of which are based on a social, interactive model. With 70 million users, MySpace is one of the web’s runaway success stories.
Lifestyle packaging – which, in Lastminute.com’s case, offers combinations such as a dinner plus a movie – will also become increasingly important, he said.
Hoberman also emphasised the growing importance of multi-media, such as user-generated videos, for supplying trusted information about destinations and resorts.
“As an industry, we are guilty of telling customers what to do,” he added.