Mobile, social media and payment methods – tipped for 2010 innovation

Mobile, the monetisation of social media and new holiday payment methods were hotly tipped as areas for innovation in 2010 at Travolution Question Time this week.

Panellists including Isango chief executive Ranjan Singh and Cheapflights executive director Hugo Burge said recent developments such as the iPhone and Google Goggles unveiled earlier this week made mobile travel one to watch next year.

“When people said mobile I used to yawn, but I now have an iPhone and with developments around barcodes or applications such as the Yelp augmented reality,  where you hold up the phone to get details about what you’re seeing, it is hard not to be excited,” said Burge.

Other experts said we would begin to see companies make money from social media channels.

“We’re starting to monitor customer care and ground enquiries on Twitter. You can’t just put a banner up. If you just try and jump in with an ad it is not going to be useful,” said Paul Simmons, easyJet UK regional manager.

PricewaterhouseCoopers partner Ian Oakley-Smith said we could expect to see new initiatives in payment or savings plans as travel companies seek to gain customer loyalty.

The panel also tipped website personalisation for innovation with touchscreen developments already available on smart phones coming to PCs.

Worldreviewer managing director James Dunford-Wood said: “It won’t be long before we’re moving stuff on the screen which will allow us to personalise websites. I think that whole area is going to come up quite rapidly.”

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