Archive for June, 2007

TripIt

Posted on June 28, 2007. Filed under: Uncategorized |

read about this new venture on O’Reilly Radar. I don’t know if they are still looking for beta testers but if they are and you’re a frequent traveler it might be worth signing up.

I’m intrigued by the approach they take, as in my reading of the description, it goes in the direction of web 3.0 or the intelligent web, by smartly integrating data and not just document links, which makes it more than a mere mashup.

I’ll keep an eye out on it. I’m sure there will be more along this line of thought.

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The Internet as a trip starting point

Posted on June 25, 2007. Filed under: Uncategorized |

eMarketer reports with the comment that as the product becomes more complex the picture changes and people refer to travel agents for advice.

Now, this is not surprising in view of the fact that the web 2.0 tools that make the whole integrated research, planning and buying experience somewhat more attractive are just now coming on stream. Personally, I doubt they will significantly improve this for what’s called complex travel or multi-destination trips with different modes of transport and local services all included, not on a pre-packaged basis, but self-selected by the user.

With all the talk of dynamic packaging, I’m still not aware of any site out there that easily allows that to happen on one site.

Most likely it will require the next generation of the internet, or web 3.0 and the reality of the semantic, or intelligent web to make this happen. More on that subject in a future post. Stay tuned.

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In online travel, word of mouse is king

Posted on June 25, 2007. Filed under: Uncategorized |

USA Today reports in this article and it’s usually a pretty good bet that when a mass market paper reports on anything “new” on the web it’s usually on the way to be pretty well established market behavior or a fact.

I don’t think anyone can seriously doubt any longer that user generated content has an increasingly significant influence on travel decisions. The travel sites trying to capitalize on this are growing like mushrooms and we might even be in some new bubble territory. Most of them are generating revenue from advertising and maybe some transaction fee.

As in web 1.0 there will remain a number of winners that will make the travel research, planning and buying experience a more pleasant one than what we have today. Just in time as my next post will show!

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CTC launches beta version of blogging site on Canada.travel

Posted on June 23, 2007. Filed under: Uncategorized |

More Canadian innovation as reported in the Tourism INTERNET Marketing Blog by Jens.

It seems our friends to the North are showing not only U.S. but other DMOs around the world how to embrace what’s collectively called web 2.0 and take active steps to engage with their audience.

I’ve just last week been asked by a colleague to rate some DMO sites and without doing a really exhaustive search, I really didn’t come up with anything truly amazing. Sure, a lot of sites use technology quite well and the sites are attractive, sort of in the same way print brochures and advertising were. A great photo or flash show across the top of the first page seems all the rage – an approach we first introduced on MySwitzerland.com back in ’99 so its not really innovative!

Booking engines for accommodation are getting also very common, especially on city sites but going a step further and truly offer a one stop shopping experience with airline reservations and ground services is very rare indeed.

This effort by Canada is the first I’ve seen that goes beyond that into more user interaction with social networking tools. That’s what the conversation is about, not one way communications, as I’ve stated many times before.

“Good luck – Canada!” and tell us how it’s working out.

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Share your Canadian Travel Secrets Online…

Posted on June 22, 2007. Filed under: Uncategorized |

is an innovative effort introduced by Jens Thraenhart on his blog.

I’ve mentioned in a recent post Canada’s challenge returning to growth in U.S. visitors, no easy task for a number of reasons, not the least the strength of their currency. One thing I outlined is the necessity for destinations, especially those not perceived as “exotic” because they are close by but still not really known – which is Canada’s problem with Americans – to “tell a story”, to personalize themselves if you will, to their audience. This can be done in various ways, by having locals talk about their city or town or region but also by giving visitors the opportunity to talk about their experiences.

The tool introduced here is a step in the right direction and uses the power of social networking and social media to get the stories told. It’s also a great way for the DMO to participate in the conversation about their destination.

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VibeAgent Starts Even Smarter

Posted on June 21, 2007. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Bill Geist has an interesting review of this new travel 2.0 venture. I share his assessment after having spent some time on the site. They seem to me on the right track to capitalize on the social networking wave now taking hold of the travel space in earnest.

There’s another new site iloho that goes in a similar direction but at this point VibeAgent is offering the best combination of networking, user generated content and booking functionality. If they can get the word out, they have a good chance of being successful.

It will be interesting to watch how this develops further and who will give the market leader TripAdvisor a run for the money.

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The age of the Prosumer

Posted on June 18, 2007. Filed under: Uncategorized |

is the theme of this video outlining a future scenario of the web and media by 2050.

Quite a fascinating take on the subject but based on an extrapolation of today without speculation or integration of what new innovations will come along that might well change the picture significantly.

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TripAdvisor trots out social network

Posted on June 15, 2007. Filed under: Uncategorized |

while the post inWebware seems rather lackluster, I’m of the opinion that this new feature will make TripAdvisor a much more useful tool.

Most research shows the importance of recommendations by trusted sources like relatives and friends on making travel choices. By making it easy to add exactly those people and read what they post should improve the usefulness and increase the quality of comments on TripAdvisor. Smart move.

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Why there’s no such thing as Web 2.0

Posted on June 9, 2007. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Marc Andreessen says in this post on his blog and
I agree with his take on the subject despite the fact that Web 2.0 is in the title of this blog. I have stated in earlier posts that sticking to numbers is not really important. It’s just the web which keeps evolving due to the great new tools that are being developed under whatever name you want to call it – the next web, semantic web, common sense web.

One thing is sure, all this will mean an ever more useful and influential web touching on every aspect of life in new ways that few of us have even started to imagine.

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Taking a break

Posted on June 6, 2007. Filed under: Uncategorized |

This is a graphic from the Economist to ponder by Americans slaving away in their cubicles

Holidays-1

while their European counterparts are off to another vacation. Is it any wonder they have the highest percentage of travel per capita in the world?

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