WorkLight, the Web 2.0 for Business specialist, announced today the release of WorkLight for Travel & Hospitality – a server-based software product that enables consumers, for the first time, to use popular Web 2.0 services to securely buy travel services like airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars, and vacation packages, leveraging recommendations from friends and professionals.
Making the announcement at the PhoCusWright Conference’s Travel Innovation Summit, the company will be demonstrating its latest offering at the industry’s foremost conference.
Given today’s economic outlook, in order to remain competitive, companies can’t wait for customers to come their website; rather, they must engage customers at the places they frequent online – such as social networks, desktop and web-based gadgets and widgets, iPhone apps, RSS feeds, and more.
Travel agencies, airlines, car rental companies, hotels and resorts networks, have an urgent need for highly-targeted, marketing through receptive, opt-in business channels.
In fact, industry experts point out that consumers are now turning to online destinations for travel and hotel booking, as traditional marketing channels become more expensive.
According to PhoCusWright’s US Online Travel Overview, online travel sales will continue to increase at more than twice the rate of the travel market.
A recent Nielsen Online research indicates that travel is currently the top category for web purchases, with 38 percent of adult online consumers have made at least one travel purchase online in the previous six months.
“Engaging customers where they are spending their time online can make the difference between being successful and not surviving, especially in a highly-saturated market like the online travel and hospitality industry,” said David Lavenda, vice president for marketing and product strategy at WorkLight.
“Based on our discussions with customers, we expect Web 2.0 to maintain a steady and significant growth over time among travel companies around the world, and in North America and Europe in particular.”
WorkLight for Travel & Hospitality, the company’s latest addition to its Web 2.0 for business portfolio, enables travel companies to let consumers do the following from social networking sites, personalized home pages, desktop widgets, and iPhone apps:
* Search for deals, ticket availabilities and then purchase services using loyalty program status and preferences, without having to click-through to the company’s website
* Manage personal loyalty accounts, monitor account balances and program activity, and respond to promotions securely using web-based or desktop gadgets
* Get secure account updates and highly-personalized alerts via RSS
* Network with travel professionals through a secure channel and then order services, within popular social networks, such as Facebook
Relying on the WorkLight Server, companies can extend their business reach beyond the portal to a host of Web 2.0 services, such as Google gadgets, Facebook, Windows Live, Vista, Apple Dashboard, Yahoo Widgets, the iPhone and more.