User-generated content and the sharing society have yet to make serious inroads in travel, reveals the World Travel Market 2015 Industry Report, released today (Monday 2 November) at World Travel Market London.
The report finds that, despite the huge amount of user-generated content around – such as blogs – and the growth of peer-to-peer (P2P) sites, the impact has been minimal so far.
Nine in 10 UK holidaymakers do not refer to blogs when researching holidays, while only 16% of travel companies work with bloggers, the research has found.
And, fears among traditional travel providers that sites such as Airbnb and Uber are a threat to their business are not substantiated. The report findings show that P2P sites are not widely used among UK holidaymakers and the industry says it hasn’t seen an impact.
Nine out of 10 UK holidaymakers do not use a P2P site, although 42% who have not yet used one would consider doing so in the future. Of those that have used a P2P site, 97% would do so again. Airbnb is the most commonly used site.
When asked the question: “What impact has the ‘sharing economy’ and peer-to-peer websites such as Airbnb, Onefinestay, Couchsurfing, Flipkey and Uber had on your organisation?” 58% of industry respondents said they had seen no impact.
A quarter said P2P sites have had a negative impact, with 6% rating the impact as ‘significant’ and 20% rating it as ‘slight’.
World Travel Market London, Senior Director, Simon Press said: “It ‘a-peers’ customers have not taken to blogs and P2P sites as quickly as we may have thought.
“However, they have come a long way in a relatively short space of time and these methods do have a place in the modern world of travel. What’s more, there is enough room for everyone.”
“WTM itself has been instrumental in embracing user-generated content and the sharing society. For example, we launched our first dedicated session for bloggers in 2011 and the programme has grown substantially over the past five years, with the Bloggers’ Speed Networking session making its debut in 2014 and returning for 2015.
“This year, blogging again has a strong presence at the event.”
WTM’s blogging partners believe the findings demonstrate travel blogging has come a long way in recent years. Traverse, founder, Michael Ball said: “it may seem a small number, but 16% of travel companies work with bloggers is much higher than it was a few years ago.
Wonder, Director, Oliver Gradwell, added: “It is a marker of just how far blogging has come within the travel industry, if 10% of UK holidaymakers are now using blogs when researching holidays.”
About World Travel Market London
WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend four-day business-to-business exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry.
Almost 51,500 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international press, embark on ExCeL – London every November to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry opinion and trends at WTM.
WTM London, now in its 36th year, is the event where the travel industry conducts and concludes its deals. WTM 2014 will generate around £2.5 billion of travel industry contracts.
WTM London is part of Reed Travel Exhibition’s World Travel Market events, which also includes Arabian Travel Market, World Travel Market Latin America and World Travel Market Africa. www.wtmworld.com
World Travel Market Events
World Travel Market is comprised of the leading leisure travel events in the world; World Travel Market London, WTM Latin America in Sao Paulo, WTM Africa in Cape Town and Arabian Travel Market in Dubai.
New events for 2016 are WTM connect Asia and WTM connect China, which join WTM connect Ski and International Golf Travel Market. These unique one-to-one events are targeted at leisure and niche travel markets, allowing exhibitors to exclusively meet with elite hosted buyers.
The World Travel Market events are attended by the global travel and tourism industry’s senior executives to conduct business deals and discover the latest research, insight and opinion.
In 2014, the World Travel Market events facilitated around $7 billion in industry deals from negotiations between the more than 15,000 buyers, 9,500 exhibitors (1,500 main stand holders and 8,000 stand sharers) in attendance of its four events.
WTM is part of Reed travel Exhibitions, the leading events organizer in the travel industry, and is owned by the world’s leading events organiser Reed Exhibitions.
Reed Travel Exhibitions
Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) is the world’s leading provider of exhibitions in the travel and tourism industry. Its wide-ranging portfolio of events around the globe covers leisure travel, luxury travel, meetings, incentives and business travel, as well as golf, ski and spa travel.
RTE, which organises more than 22 events around the world, includes three divisions; World Travel Market, IBTM Events and International Luxury Travel Market.
RTE is a business unit of Reed Exhibitions.
About Reed Exhibitions
Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events organiser, with over 500 events in 43 countries. In 2014 Reed brought together over seven million event participants from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed events are held throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa and organised by 41 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions serves 43 industry sectors with trade and consumer events. It is part of the RELX Group plc, a world-leading provider of information solutions for professional customers across industries.