I remember a time, not too long ago when the only way for me to enjoy an international vacation was to visit a travel agent. The travel agent would provide me with details of flights, hotels, experience options along with food and drink packages throughout my journey. The process would take a few weeks, from research, deciding, to receiving my tickets.
Last month I traveled internationally. From start to finish, I decided on my destination, booked an all-inclusive vacation and was issued a ticket within hours. All of this was done from my home computer using an online travel package service.
I have listed these experiences to illustrate just how easy it is to travel internationally in today’s modern world. But more, to show how enticing and accessible international travel now is to people who still associate international travel with my first example and experience.
In the startup world, these travelers are considered to be an emerging market. And it is these travelers who are driving the surge in online travel package websites.
While many investors are often hesitant to become involved in a market which appears to be flooded, current offerings miss one thing – a classic feel. Current offerings provide cheap ways to get from Airport A to Airport B. But this isn’t the service that these travelers crave.
The currently emerging market want a mixture of the convenience provided by an online service and the packages and pre-planned nature of a travel agent assisted vacation.
The perfect example is the Groupon Coupons page for Great Value Vacations. Online travel services like there are as successful as they are because they provide all-inclusive and ‘getaway’ type offerings. The type of vacation where everything is taken care of before you leave, without having to worry that something has been forgotten, or that you will need to pay more money when you arrive.
The type of vacation which used to be provided by a travel agent.
Services like these are seeing their level of success because they have identified the market where travelers want the result of a travel agent booked vacation combined with the convenience of not having to leave the house to get it.
The market for these services is growing so quickly because these travelers return from a positive vacation and relay their experience to friends and colleagues. Friends and colleagues who have resisted the urge to travel because of a misperception of a time that once was. Additionally, these services are seeing something that larger offerings are not – loyalty. Similar to a travel agent, these travelers feel like they have been taken care of by their travel service, forming a bond, not with an agent, but with the website.