But as the travel segment gets increasing crowded, and the major online travel agencies (OTAs) continue to build brand identity, the race to leverage new opportunities in search and social media is most definitely on for smaller players. Other questions about the economy also hover like a dark cloud over the travel industry, but all the recent stats about online travel point to growth in 2008.
To sustain this level of growth, the questions are plentiful: will OTAs become increasingly more dependent on their affiliates and aggregators to generate valuable customers? With shrinking commissions and lower margins, how can those affiliates increase their own revenue share? How are they going to separate themselves from the masses, when travel affiliate content is inherently similar? And perhaps the most important question, just how important are affiliates to the online travel industry?
Source – SearchEngineWatch