User-generated video content is expected to lead the next wave of development in the online travel industry, according to a report by US travel industry analysts PhoCusWright.
The trend for allowing consumers to review products in an unbiased way is likely to spearhead a massive drive among travel websites in the near future as so-called Web 2.0 manifests itself into Travel 2.0, the report said.
Vice president for advisory services at PhoCusWright, John Bray, said the Youtube video phenomenon, which currently sees around 100 downloads every day, had paved the way for progressive travel sites to incorporate user-generated content.
“Though it lacks a precise definition, Travel 2.0 generally refers to Web services that let people collaborate and share information online,” Bray said.
“A wave of dynamic travel sites have emerged that take full advantage of new models of collaboration for trip planning.
Bray added: “Undaunted by the startups, these providers have embraced, without wielding control over user-generated content, a sense of belonging at the same time they attempt diminish their own content-management challenge.”
PhoCusWright also heaped praise on the likes of Sheraton Hotels, which has broken convention in recent months by putting user reviews on its homepage, even if the review is less than favourable.
Some hotel websites, like Swiss giant Movenpick, have recently included links to their own products that have been reviewed by TripAdvisor, “undaunted by potential negative feedback”, Bray said.