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Yahoo Plunders the Travel Market

After Google’s Orion project yesterday, it’s good to hear Yahoo promoting a new innovation today.

Although, Yahoo’s up coming travel search does not provide new technologies, making it less ‘innovation’ and more ‘filing system’ for its current travel capabilities scattered across its portal.

Yahoo aims to up the anti on established online travel agents by bringing together extra services on a second level page such as travel guides, maps and satellite images.

At present, much of the second level information is collected from other sources – Lonely Planet guides provide background information but it has been muted that Yahoo may use tourist created reviews in the new version.

As consumer distrust of corporate business grows there is no better way to regain trust than by using independent, relevant recommendations. This is why wikitravel is so successful. But with such sites in existence, it suggests that Yahoo is merely copying tried and tested concepts.

However, Yahoo has a strong user base. With over 14 million visitors to Yahoo Travel in February this year, they may well be able to create a very healthy travel environment. Encouraging user interaction may build up consumer content that makes a marked difference, but I suspect consumer spend will always be the key. They will still have to beat the competition on price. After all, 9 out of 10 travel buyers will go with the website offering the cheapest deal and they’re willing to shop around for it.

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