Online Travel Sites are Maturing

While travel agents are great, and one of my good friends is a travel agent, I can’t help but remind you that online travel sites are getting better and better. I use for my travels. What about you?
The NY Times writes Now that marketers will pay more to reach consumers reading about Caribbean beaches and playing with travel planning tools, the portals are in much less of a hurry to march readers off to an online travel agency and collect a commission for that click.
The latest evidence came late last month when Yahoo began testing new features in its travel section. The most noteworthy, Mr. Harteveldt said, was Yahoo’s Trip Planner tool, which allows people to create, store and print virtual trip folders and post them in a public database for others to view. Among other things, travelers may post articles, hotel and restaurant picks and reviews – from Yahoo or outside Web sites – and photos from their own files or from those on Yahoo’s online picture-sharing service, Flickr.
James Slavet, who oversees Yahoo’s travel and autos divisions, said the new features had been well received by both users and advertisers. “The notion is to create a personalized itinerary that’s almost like what a really good executive assistant or maybe a travel agent could do for you,” he said.