Mark Bloxham, marketing director at Teletext Holidays, has predicted that video will become an increasingly vital tool in driving sales for travel companies.
He quoted the statistic that 90% of internet traffic will be video-based by 2013, with 66% of the world’s mobile data expected to be video content by the following year.
Speaking today during the morning seminar session at the Travel Technology Show at Earls Court in London, Bloxham cited the role of YouTube in driving video distribution and making it part of online users’ experience, and claimed that the internet will become a ‘moving image’ medium of the future for travel companies.
“You have to go a long way to fake a review process if it’s video,” said Bloxham. “In the enterprise world too, video content is making an impact. 85% of visitors are more likely to purchase in a single visit because of video content.”
In addition to YouTube – already the world’s second largest search engine behind Google, generating three billion views a day – Bloxham also cited the increasing use of video-based reviews on travel sites such as Tripadvisor, and the use of video by organisations as a means of reducing support costs.
An increasing trend, Bloxham pointed out, is the growth in internet-connected televisions, which although overshadowed recently by 3D and HD TV are now set to take off. Some 60% of new TVs sold in 2012 will be web-connected, increasing opportunities for SmartTV, which offer a TV-based appstore, and YouView, a new terrestrial broadcast-led venture.
The use of Skype by expert home-based travel agents was demonstrated by Geoff Monk of Seeyourtravelagent.com, who argued that using Skype has helped bridge the gap for customers between visiting the travel agent and phoning them.
In one month, he continued, he sold over £12,000 worth of holiday business over Skype. One of the key advantages of using Skype, he suggested, is that the agent retains control of the sale.
Seeyourtravelagent.com currently has 18 agents signed up in a 6-12 month free trial, including agents in the US, and is looking for more agents to join.