Today, we look at how travelers increasingly use online media and mobile technology throughout the various stages of travel. The art of travel has changed and the Travel Decision Cycle has evolved. The former model that usually included a travel agent and resources like the OAG (Official Airline Guide) no longer fits. Today’s model includes much more depth and social interaction in the ‘Planning’ stage, more automaton of the transactional ‘Booking’ stage and once again, more depth and social interaction in the after-travel phase of ‘Sharing’.
Travel Decision Cycle
The stages of the Travel Decision Cycle are: Dreaming, Planning, Research, Travel Reviews, Booking, Experiencing and Sharing. The travel infographic below shows some of the online companies that support this market. Some companies, like Trip Advisor, Facebook and Pinterest have services that support more than one stage.
Top Online Travel Companies
As of this writing, these are the big players in travel: Trippy, Pinterest, Gogobot, Citybot, Tripline, TouristEye, Worldmate, Tripit, RelaxWisconsin (a product of SocialEnergizer.com), Momando, Virtual Tourist, Facebook, Fodor’s, Yelp, Trip Advisor, Google Places, IgoUgo, Yahoo Local, Kayak, Hotwire, Travelocity, Expedia, Priceline, CheapOAir, Hotels.com, Hipmunk, Booking.com, Orbitz, Hotel Website Booking Engines, FlipKey, AirBNB, HomeAway, VRBO, Foursquare, Tripwolf, and Flickr.
Watch for future articles on each of these providers and the roles they play in each part of the travel cycle. Do you know of some we’ve missed? Please add them in the comments and we’ll add and update the infographic.