It's amazing to me how long it took for the mainstream of the travel industry and organizers of the old style trade events to finally pay attention to what is happening on the internet. After all, it's only the most significant development since the industrial revolution. In addition travel has been the largest vertical online since day one. So, what have these people been paying attention to until now, I wonder?
The grand daddy of mammoth travel exhibitions, the ITB, last year was the first to add Travedex, and event dedicated to online travel in a partnership with PhoCusWright, the leader in travel intelligence and trail blazer in the industry having organized the most successful and influential events totally dedicated to online travel since the late '90s.
Now, it seems WTM has caught up to it. It wouldn't surprise me, if in a few years time the focus of these events will shift from the hardware focus with ever fancier booths by suppliers and destinations will shift to a software focus that puts the emphasis on technology, social networking, customer participation and all the other Travel 2.0 developments that will change the industry even more radically in the years to come.